This post is an excerpt from the final edition of The Link for 2021. Check out the whole digital magazine here.
To become more efficient, effective, and responsive, organizations must implement a digital transformation. Legal teams are under just as much pressure as the rest of the enterprise to follow suit. Unfortunately, in most companies, the state of legal tech -- particularly in the realm of contract lifecycle management (CLM) -- can best be described as functional chaos, with multiple, diverse, and often incompatible platforms overseeing their respective pieces of the data chain.
The last thing a General Counsel (GC) wants is to be stuck in first gear while the rest of the departments push the business into overdrive. So where to start? How about committing to the following two strategies for the coming year.
Remove the clutter
Streamline your technology platforms. The collection of parts that make up most legal tech environments is not just an inconvenience but a competitive disadvantage. It’s a well-known secret in the industry that legal tech platform developers are not highly cooperative. Competition is fierce in this sector, with each vendor moving aggressively to acquire market share and prevent rivals from doing the same.
The collection of disjointed platforms has gotten so bad in some organizations that pre-signature solutions often don’t communicate with post-signature solutions, bringing processes to a halt and hindering the ability to turn business proposals into functioning agreements.
The obvious solution to this dilemma is to harness each legal function under a single platform. An integrated CLM system, for example, provides the interoperability needed to ensure all data and processes are handled in an efficient and effective manner. Each step in the process, from initiation and authoring to execution and ongoing management, is managed as a single, integrated workflow.
This improves productivity in the legal team, and it is far less expensive to build and maintain. A fully integrated CLM system can be up and running in 30 days, putting the organization in a solid position to drive success in the coming year.
Free the data
Introducing this level of interoperability to legal tech infrastructure will require the company to make another key change: to democratize data across the entire stack. This can pose quite a challenge for legal teams due to the sensitivity of the data they hold and the risk or consequences of it being stolen or misused.
Companies today must undergo a digital transformation across the entire business model, especially the legal function. Data is the most valuable asset. Locking it away in silos where no one else can use it is like storing cash under a mattress: it doesn’t provide protection or value. Bringing legal tech into the 21st Century is not merely good practice, it’s good business.
If digital transformation is your goal – as it should be for every enterprise – legal tech should be first in line for an upgrade.