The pitfalls of legal technology adoption (and hope!)
It’s time to reimagine the “one-and-done” approach.
In January, we partnered with leading industry analyst ALM to conduct a survey on legal trends and predictions for 2022. Unsurprisingly, most respondents reported a spike in their legal technology adoption between 2020 – 2021, with 44% purchasing solutions from different providers.
We like to call this the “one-and-done” approach to legal technology adoption; when a vendor offers a quick-fix point solution with incompatible features, custom code, and no API integrations. It’s fast, easy to get up and running, and gets the job done— but long term? Don’t expect it to keep up.
As you expand and realize new business needs, you’ll end up juggling vendor contracts and incompatible software features. Imagine managing a different partner for:
- Matter Management
- Spend Management
- Contract Lifecycle Management
- Legal Task Automation
- The Legal Hold Process
- & more
It’s overwhelming, and details can start to fall through the cracks.
Legal technology adoption can ultimately fail because the one-and-done approach becomes too-many-to-handle.
You wouldn’t take different parts of your car to various auto shops and expect a unified service experience, so why should you trust segments of your business to many hands? You shouldn’t. That’s why 2022 is all about leveraging a consolidated and forward-looking legal tech stack.
The other side of this extreme is implementing a homegrown solution. When a few developers build a custom management platform, the burden of integration, training, and user support ultimately falls onto the shoulders of your IT team. Not only can this eat up critical time and impact department performance, but it also makes your solution dependent on unpredictable variables like employee turnover and expertise gaps. If an original developer eventually leaves the company, key information about your solution may get lost in the transition.
Homegrown technology solutions can fail when the burden of implementation, upkeep, and customer support pile onto the already-full plates of IT teams.
A better long-term strategy is to take the admin lift off of your team with an integrated management platform— one that offers the solution you’re currently looking for and opportunities to integrate with more services down the line.
But don’t panic: ditching the “one-and-done” approach doesn’t mean that your tech upgrade has to be “all-or-nothing.” There’s no need to replace all of your systems at once— with the right platform, tech adoption can be a gradual, personalized process.
Cohesion in legal technology adoption (the hope!)
More firms are moving towards an evolved and efficient corporate legal ecosystem in 2022. While reconnecting with the broader legal community at LegalWeek, we were able to confirm with industry executives that the dynamic platform is replacing the “one-and-done” point solution vendor.
Those looking to upgrade their tech stacks should be looking to invest, not buy; find solutions that boast scalability and long-term support.
You’ll want to keep an eye out for:
- A platform, not a vendor or service
- Industry reputation, knowledge, and established expertise
- A suite of compatible features and solutions
- A history of timely implementation, service updates, or new integrations
The latter is essential because you want an industry partner with a similar commitment to continued growth and innovation, not a siloed service that lacks thoughtful integrations. With a platform approach, you have the opportunity to strategically bring together the RIGHT technologies for:
- Streamlined due diligence that takes the admin lift off of your team
- A free flow of data that delivers a single source of organizational truth
- A complete audit trail
- Extreme time and cost savings
Legal technology adoption isn’t slowing down. On the contrary, survey respondents agreed that we can expect to see an increase in matter management, e-billing, and contracts management adoption moving forward.
That said, 2022 is marking a new era for legal operations. AI and machine learning are on the rise, legal-tech spending continues to surge, and firms are now reimagining what it means to build a hardware stack strategically. As more organizations move towards integrated, comprehensive platforms for their legal technology management, opportunities for better operational productivity, growth, and impact increase tenfold across the industry.