If you asked a hundred lawyers a question, it’s pretty unlikely that you’d get the same answer almost every time–unless perhaps that answer was, “It depends.”
But in a survey of over 250 in-house counsel and legal operations experts conducted for the 2021 Legal Technology Report for In-House Professionals, 63% said legal technology was a “must have,” 34% said it was “nice to have,” and only 3% said it was “not needed” compared to five years ago. With pressures from the complicated patchwork of privacy regulations and growing data volumes involved in civil litigation to the twin business imperatives of efficiency and cost savings, it’s no wonder that legal departments depend on technology more today than ever before.
This new report from Exterro and the Association of Corporate Counsel digs into the details behind this headline, exploring not just what’s happening in-house at organizations ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion in revenue per year, but why. Key takeaways from the report demonstrate:
- Operationally mature organizations embrace technology more than their less mature counterparts. Ninety percent of companies that self-assessed as having “optimized” processes saw technology as a must-have compared to only 42% of companies who rated their operations as “ad hoc.” Legal technology solutions aren’t patches that paper over process shortcomings; they complement optimized processes. Rather, organizations optimize processes and adopt technology solutions that align with their workflows.
- Mature legal departments continue to invest in legal technology on an ongoing basis. There’s no “sweet spot” where a legal team has everything it needs. Mature organizations are three times as likely to be planning further technology investments than less mature organizations. They need to keep up with changes in the larger technology landscape: to collect and review data from new sources; to comply with new and evolving privacy regulations; to gain visibility into and control over more business processes.
- Unified technology platforms solve the problems caused by complex technology stacks. The biggest challenges to adopting legal technology reflect the increasing complexity of many companies’ legal tech stacks–too many different software solutions, confusing interfaces, cumbersome data transfers and process handoffs. Investing wisely in a multi-faceted software suite that can manage e-discovery, privacy, and digital forensics workflows allows users to gain confidence and expertise, rather than struggle to learn new solutions.
Organizations that invest wisely in legal technology can gain these benefits and more, without experiencing the drawbacks of over-complicated technology environments. Download the 2021 Legal Technology Report for In-House Counsel today to dig deeper into these and other key takeaways today.