After two years of remote and hybrid work, one thing is clear: a distributed workforce is the ‘new normal,’ forcing corporate legal departments and companies to ‘go digital’ and online – almost completely.
But consider for a moment the multitude of files and the thousands of agreements – often still in paper formats – contained in every business. No wonder in-house corporate counsel still struggle to manage documents efficiently and effectively, particularly while working from home (WFH).
Fortunately, legal technology solutions can help general counsels (GCs) and legal teams stay on top of contracts and related documents; and maintain business continuity during these times. In fact, the latest digital tools can change the way GCs and legal teams operate for the better. They allow them to streamline the contract management process – and even eliminate manual contract review altogether – so that they can focus on higher-value, strategic work. They are as cost-effective and they are time-saving, too.
According to a recent survey by Artificial Lawyer, 42 percent of GCs and chief legal officers (CLOs) plan to adopt legal technology solutions to improve contracting efficiency in the next year or so. Here we explore the reasons to consider adopting and implementing legal technology solutions for your own legal team and organisation.
4 reasons to adopt legal technology
1. Collaborating more with your Legal team
As the COVID-19 pandemic and remote working continues, companies have grown accustomed to collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack. Although these tools are great for contacting team members rather quickly, it is equally important to have the right tools for proper document review.
A legal technology solution like a contract lifecycle management (CLM) system keeps all contracts and associated documents in a single digital repository. That means your legal, sales, and procurement teams can access the same agreements – from any one place, at any given time.
What is more, such solutions allow amendments, changes, and errors in contracts to be reviewed on the system. And that means preventing agreements from being sent out through SharePoint or emails – and perhaps finally getting rid of fax machines!
2. Narrowing down the search
Today, the average company has 20,000 to 40,000 active contracts. As a result, GCs and legal teams without legal tech must go through abundant agreements filled with countless clauses to find keywords and dates, and other pertinent information.
In addition to keeping contracts accessible and secure, CLM software allows legal departments to not only see all contracts at the same time, but also search for a keyword or date, and filter out contracts that are unneeded. A system with OCR search, for example, goes a long way in finding legal obligations in agreements, and driving collaboration and consensus within companies. Legal technology solutions with this feature can therefore change the way organizations operate altogether.
3. Retaining your competitive advantage
As stated above, with the changing circumstances around work comes brand-new responsibilities. Many legal departments now struggle with an increased volume of contracts and documents. And agreements that are not digitised in the first place are rather difficult to keep track of in companies.
So, due to pandemics and other possible crises, legal can no longer afford to stick to manual, linear ways of working. In fact, legal tech will be essential for business continuity moving forward.
CLM systems, with the features and capabilities noted above, eliminate the stresses intrinsically tied to contract management. They provide GCs and legal teams with a huge competitive advantage. They help them to advance on their digital transformation journey and excel during especially challenging periods.
4. Choosing the right legal technology solutions
Let’s face it, then, the legal tech industry is booming: there are hundreds of technology vendors on the market today.
However, the right technology solution not only involves an advanced system, but also a short implementation process, ongoing technological support, and a simple user interface. That way, all departments that need the solution can use it to its maximum potential.
According to the same survey mentioned above, contract management remains the number one legal tech priority for most legal professionals: 67 percent choose to focus investment on this specific area. And this makes sense given contracts are the “lifeblood” of the business. They tell everyone involved how to interact, operate, and conduct the company’s relationships.
Nevertheless, beginning a legal digital transformation project can be difficult at first. And looking for a reliable solution like a CLM system can be overwhelming.
With this in mind, feel free to contact our team to discuss the technology that could support your team. We take a people-centric approach to recommending modern workplace solutions. We explore what they need to work effectively, be more successful in the things they do, the technology they use (and like or dislike), and the technology deployed throughout the organisation as a whole. We also explore your security and compliance risk posture, to make sure that our recommendations are aligned with your organisation’s needs.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss further.