5 Keys to Building a Future-Facing Legal Tech Stack with Examples
Corporate legal tech adoption is rapidly becoming widespread. As Forbes put it, “the pandemic came and changed the game for everybody, including law firms and in-house legal teams.”
Our legal industry survey from early 2021 found that 77% of corporate legal departments anticipated their use of a legal workflow application was going to increase this past year.
This represents a nascent early stage in digital transformation, where most adoptions are intended to address specific pain points within the legal ecosystem (e-signatures to replace manual paper-based signatures, for instance).
How can legal tech move to the next stage, where it can help in redefining and reimagining the role of the legal department as a contributor to organizational success? A role where it has a strong hand in enhancing enterprise compliance, operations, and even business growth?
Moving toward tomorrow’s legal tech stack
No matter how advanced a company’s legal tech stack may seem to be, it has to increasingly support efficient and agile processes to ensure business continuity, both during “normal” times and during crises. COVID-19 has amply demonstrated the importance of that.
It also should be able to provide that level of confidence for years to come. A “future-proofed” legal tech stack will be able to manage future disruptions without needing a rip-and-replace; its components will have the flexibility to scale and evolve over time, continuing to steadily deliver value and ROI year after year.
The ELM model has the potential to expand into a Legal Services Delivery platform serving the entire organization. That requires even greater levels of integration, reliability, and scalability. This is the next level of evolution for legal tech: As a support for Legal as a core business function that underpins processes and operations everywhere, not just within Legal.
In planning for that evolution, what are some of the main points stakeholders involved in making legal tech adoption decisions should keep in mind as they build their legal tech roadmap?
Think in terms of a holistic roadmap for meeting enterprise needs
Orient your technology planning process around building a long-term, enterprise-wide model for meeting enterprise-wide legal and compliance challenges. Don’t make the mistake of planning on the basis of near-term problem-solving within Legal.
Frame legal tech as a business success asset
To prove its value goes beyond operational or productivity improvements (which are still important!), find ways to measure how it tangibly supports larger corporate success and business growth initiatives.
Don’t partition legal tech from compliance tech
The boundaries between what constitutes “legal” and “compliance/risk management” demands are breaking down, and corporations increasingly need to tackle them in cross-disciplinary ways. The same should hold true of your “legal” tech stack; you should consider it as a “legal + compliance” tech stack of integrated and complementary solutions.
Think “plug-and-grow,” not just “plug-and-play”
In adopting new technologies, look to add those that can reliably deliver long-term scalability and flexibility to meet future requirements, not only supporting users as the organization changes but directly impacting corporate business strategies.
Streamline and simplify your stack
If at all possible, reduce the number of separate products you’re using in order to eliminate recurrent configuration and integration headaches. Look for established integrated solutions providers who can deliver an end-to-end range of pre-integrated solutions and collaborative customer support.
The best-in-class legal tech stack
If you incorporate all of the above points into your planning from day one, your legal department will find itself armed with a holistic legal tech stack that keeps you at the forefront of innovation and excellence.
A best-in-class legal tech stack will increase your productivity and efficiency throughout the organization, and help the legal department reduce costs, increase collaboration, and mitigate risks. It will ensure your investment delivers the highest value possible, both today and in the future.
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