Legal Operations Benchmarking; Acceleration in Technology Investment
If legal departments were lagging in the digitalization movement pre-pandemic, that’s certainly no longer the situation. With the persistence of distributed workforces, planned technology investments are surging – and workflow automation in its many forms, is leading the charge.
Planned investments in business intelligence / dashboarding tools and workflow automation are much higher than plans measured in the last Hyperion Research Legal Operations Benchmarking study, conducted in the early days of the pandemic (Q2 2020), as demonstrated in the chart below.
Investing in Dashboarding Tools to Drive Transformation
In our previous Hyperion Research Insights post on the 2022 Legal Operations Benchmarking, we discussed inter-relationships among three of the four top transformation priorities – workflow automation, getting the right work into the right hands, and generating data for performance management analytics. Investment intent in Business Intelligence / Dashboarding and Workflow Automation are nearly tied as top priorities, with particularly heavy first-time investment in dashboarding tools (see graph below).
Legal departments have certainly caught on to the virtuous circle of investment in workflow tools enabling effective triage and routing while also generating operational data.
For this reason, more advanced legal departments are not only investing in business intelligence and dashboarding tools, but also in human resources in the form of data scientists.
Data is not useful until it is rendered into metrics designed to drive improvement in operational performance.
Leveraging Workflow and AI with Contract Management Systems
One of the hallmarks of contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools is the embedded workflow capability, allowing customers to use dynamic intake forms to gather relevant information and documents; and if low value/risk, produce an executable contract on the spot; or route the request onto the correct desks for drafting, negotiation, and approvals.
Given the vital role of corporate contracting, and 9% “revenue leakage” through poor contract management reported by World Commerce & Contracting, it should be no surprise that legal departments are prioritizing investment in CLM and contract analytics (CA) solutions for effective obligation management.
Our benchmarking data shows that half of legal departments are planning investments, including replacements and upgrades in CLM systems, and more than a third (37%) are investing in AI-driven CA systems, which include both pre-signature review tools for negotiations and post-signature solutions for more effective repository management.
With top initial investments in workflow automation, AI / machine learning, and CA, we can see that legal departments are catapulting into the long-anticipated digital era, and the best thing about it is that human judgment and knowledge is thereby made more readily available as lawyers are unburdened of administrative, repetitive work and can focus on strategic advising.
In the next installment in this series on the Hyperion Research 2022 Legal Operations Benchmarking study, we will share our findings on Metrics and Analytics sentiments and practices.
Need help making the case for investment in legal technology? Download the A Buyer’s Guide for the Rest of Us: A Legal Operations Toolkit for Non-Legal Stakeholders