A Buyer's Guide for the Rest of Us

The Office of the General Counsel serves a very unique role in the Corporation, and has always been challenged by the specialized needs that define the law department’s business. Too often, the challenges of Legal Ops are also compounded by the fact that many departments outside of Legal often do not fully understand Legal’s unique needs.
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CyberSecurity Readiness

Until recently, information security was largely cast as the purview of IT professionals responsible for an organization’s infrastructure and technology framework. Yet, breaches of information security are not simply an IT issue, and while legal professionals may not always understand the machinations of IT, they do understand content, risk and the sanctity of work products.
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LegalWeek 2020 ROUNDUP

The Hyperion team just returned from Legalweek in New York. After attending numerous sessions, meeting with vendors for demonstrations and touring the exhibition halls, we wanted to call out several of the conference highlights and themes for our subscribers. The first (albeit non-legal) highlight for all attendees was the weather – while a bit rainy, the nearly 50-degree temperatures were welcomed by all of the participants. This the first nice-weather Legaltech in a number of years, and for those who have struggled with sub-zero temps and deep snow at prior conferences, eliminating weather from the equation had a positive impact on travel and participant attendance at the conference, networking receptions and gatherings.
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Hyperion Research 2020 MarketView Schedule

For the last 10 years, Hyperion Research has been the legal industry's premier source of independent market research and advisory services. We provide unparalleled insight to the leading trends in legal strategy, operations, and technology. We work with law departments, law firms and other legal service organizations to make intelligent, fact-based decisions about how to improve their operational performance. We also work with solution providers, including software vendors, professional service groups and consultants, to better understand the latest market trends and the needs of their customers.
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Dramatic Shifts in KPI Reporting

Increasingly, legal operations teams are rolling out KPI programs - operational metrics focused on understanding performance - in earnest.  Generally speaking, operational performance management is far less mature in legal than in many other business disciplines.  However, the figures below demonstrate, the obstacles to reporting strike right at the heart of operational excellence – you can’t master what you don’t know how to measure.  We've been tracking data on legal operations trends for years, and recently, we asked the Hyperion Research benchmarking community, “What is your greatest obstacle to producing quality, value-added reporting for your organization?” (Fig. 1).  The top three responses were surprising given that just one year ago the top answers to that same question were dramatically different. Legal operations professionals indicated that a lack of training or skill of staff is the top obstacle to meaningful reporting, followed closely by a lack of well-defined metrics and a lack of budget.
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The Cloud Gains Traction in IPM

The tension between keeping data secure “behind the firewall” and the siren calls for scalability, flexibility and effective collaboration is particularly acute for managers of “innovation assets.”  The resistance by legal organizations to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Cloud deployments is indeed slowly dissipating industry-wide. The rising popularity of cloud-based software models makes logical sense. Cloud represents the modern-day manifestation of corporate WAN infrastructures, though predicated on the leverage of the Internet and third-party infrastructures built for global scale.  Proprietary enterprises could never approximate such horsepower.   
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Transforming IP Services for Value and Innovation

The decision to outsource, or to perhaps insource, discrete parts to the IPM lifecycle is one of reassessing the balance of resources within an IP organization, which is a core IPBM (Intellectual Property Business Management) challenge. In particular, decisions on the use of IP services regard a company’s human-capital supply chain. This is not so much about reducing head count as it is about making better and more thoughtful use of available resources. The use of third-party IP services, whether via an LPO model or through more traditional fee-for-service models, is historically most closely associated with annuity payment services. For years now, annuity services have been critical mainstays of IP Management, as the volume of payments can be both onerous and overwhelming.  Annuities are the oldest solution category in IP, and were the catalyst for IP software in the first place.  Much of the development of the market for IPM software arose from the need to track annuity payments—and the vendor’s unique position to provide docketing and portfolio management software as both an automation tool in support of their services as well as a value-add to bolster customer “stickiness.”
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Demonstrating ROI in IPM

The legal business landscape has shifted significantly over the past decade. Since the financial crash of 2008, corporate law and IP departments and law firms were forced to do more with less, making the allocation of resources more critical than ever. As the bottom line continues to recover in the years since, the crux of IP Management has evolved from an emphasis on legal matters to one of spend management visibility and the revenue-generating potential of individual assets. This has, in effect, formed a well-defined focus to align the management of intellectual property assets and the achievement of overall business objectives—and ultimately, to demonstrate real return on investment. At present, the class of leading intellectual property practices has reached a standard that transcends docketing, data entry and paper-based management methods. “IP Management” (“IPM”) as a discipline and technology model has been widely adopted and embraced by corporate IP practices and law firms alike; as a technological generation, it is arguably nearly a dozen years old.  Ever more progressive in its reach and intensifying in demand, IPM has expanded significantly in recent years to include a growing, sophisticated number of processes, modules, functions, and innovation-oriented competencies.
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Analytics and KPIs: You Can’t Master What You Don’t Measure

 Legal practices have matured tremendously over the last few years in their understanding, approach and use of analytics, and the hunger for more metrics, better metrics, compelling metrics and actionable metrics drives the preponderance of legal operations leading practices today. Performance analysis, insight, stakeholder visibility and operational efficiency are the fundamental components that drive IPBM (Intellectual Property Business Management) excellence. Performance management analytics comprise the tools, capture methods, data models and visualization technologies that help legal and IP organizations focus on the operational performance metrics they need, to help them understand both the business effect of their activities – causality, impacting processes and behavior – and the corrective steps, nee actionable intelligence, they need to optimize performance and outcomes.
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The Engine That Could: Workflow and Process Automation in IP

As part of achieving the harmonizing effect sought within an IPBM (Intellectual Property Business Management) framework, we’ve observed the market express a strong desire to move beyond mere data entry into something much more dynamic. In fact, there are few trends more deliberate, focused and clearly defined than pursuit of shedding the cumbersome business of data entry toward better leverage of the electronic data and metadata that swirl about the average business day-to-day.  Paperless processing is a crucial goal of IPBM, and IP Management in general has long many of other legal disciplines in the maturity of processes from manual, data entry to automated process and workflow management.  Workflow, or in a larger sense Business Process Management (“BPM”) is the core enterprise discipline that serves as the crucial bridge between outdated ways of working and progressive business management.
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