Corporate legal teams are leading the adoption of technology in the legal industry, but according to a recent study by Consero, more than 69% of in-house counsel are unhappy with their current technology. After our time this week at the CLOC 2018 Institute, surrounded by legal technology, we think we know why.

From speakers in sessions discussing trending technology to the excitement of seeing exhibitors with new digital tools at the expo, technology was everywhere at CLOC. So why is there a disconnect between the enthusiasm about the potential of technology and waning satisfaction once it’s deployed for daily use?

When a business decides to invest in technology, they usually intend to solve a single, specific problem. But what happens when another need surfaces? Can the solution you just implemented also be adapted or extended to fix it?

If your IT budget is limited like most departments, the answer to that question needs to be a resounding, “Yes!” Legal technology can and should solve more than just one problem, if it doesn’t you’re likely to feel frustrated that your needs aren’t being met.

Legal technology exists to make your work easier. In our years of working with legal teams, we’ve found that evaluating a legal department’s maturity level may be the best way to decide what technology they will be most satisfied with. New legal operations teams will find more value in platforms that offer a wide range of functionality, while more established teams will want to prioritize seamless integrations to complement existing processes.

To offer a full-service platform equipped with the best digital tools, we've spent time developing partnerships with many best-of-breed legal technology companies. Within the HighQ digital toolkit there are many pieces of technology that your legal operations team may already use:

  • Collaboration tools
  • File sharing platforms
  • Smart spreadsheets
  • Document automation tools
  • Task and workflow management programs
  • Intranet
  • Extranets
  • Data visualization and reporting

If your team uses one of these tools, you could be getting more from your investment. During his session at the 2018 CLOC Institute, Rob MacAdam offered these fresh ways to use technology to empower you to master CLOC's twelve core competencies.

Strategic Planning

Technology tools: File sharing platform, smart worksheets, data visualization and reporting

  • Empower senior leadership to work together to develop and manage your legal operations strategies with a cloud-based file sharing platform
  • Create smart worksheets to track task and workflow metrics and team performance against KPIs
  • Use your tracked data to create easy-to-read charts and dashboard graphics to track and encourage efficiency with data visualization and reporting

Financial Management

Technology tools: Intranet, smart worksheets, data visualization and reporting

  • Securely centralize invoices and financial documents on your intranet
  • Tag metadata and link to your financial documents in smart worksheets then manage spend using data visualization and reporting

Vendor Management

Technology tools: Collaboration platform, extranet, task and workflow management, document automation

  • Create task lists and workflows in your collaboration or extranet or platform to increase vendor accountability while encouraging transparent, timely service delivery
  • Speed onboarding of external counsel with an extranet knowledge hub
  • Automate standard contracts and agreements with document automation

Cross-Functional Alignment

Technology tools: Collaboration, intranet

  • Use your collaboration to socialize projects and create efficient cross-functional engagement
  • Break down functional silos and foster transparency with search and advanced filtering in your intranet

Technology and Process Support

Technology tools: Smart spreadsheets, task and workflow management

  • Create a smart spreadsheet to evaluate new technology options
  • Use task and workflow management for training and deployment of new technology

Service Delivery and Alternative Support Models

Technology tools: Smart spreadsheets, document automation

  • Streamline legal intake management by outlining instructions from the business in a smart spreadsheet
  • Efficiently assemble standard contracts for business functions with document automation

Organizational Design, Support & Management

Technology tools: Intranet, file sharing platforms, collaboration

  • Share knowledge across the legal department with an intranet platform for global oversight
  • Leverage mobile-friendly file sharing platforms to access legal team information and resources to foster one virtual legal team
  • Enable team efficiency and productivity across offices and countries with cloud-based collaboration

Communications

Technology tools: Collaboration, intranet, file sharing, data visualization and reporting

  • Create a space for real-time communication using collaboration
  • Share and discuss ideas with colleagues around specific topics with file sharing, intranet or collaboration
  • Show the business the value of your work and create opportunities for business engagement with data visualization and reporting

Data Analytics

Technology tools: Smart worksheets, data visualization and reporting

  • Leverage smart worksheets to collate, share, track and interrogate complex data sets
  • Use data visualization and reporting to surface insights and deliver business intelligence
  • Import data from other systems to a smart worksheet for analysis and visualization

Litigation Support & IP Management

Technology tools: Smart worksheets, file sharing, extranet platform

  • Smart worksheets can be used for case management and IP portfolio management
  • Use secure file sharing for electronic bundling and document centralization
  • Create an extranet site to work with external counsel for litigation support

Knowledge Management

Technology tools: Intranet, collaboration

  • Create a searchable intranet knowledge hub to free information from knowledge silos and make it available to those who need it, when they need it
  • Harness the power of your team as they create and share their own knowledge output in your collaboration platform

Information Governance & Records Management

Technology tools: Intranet, file sharing

  • Provide the business with easy access to information governance/records policy and procedures on your intranet
  • Maintain your records inventory, track retention periods and chain of custody, and monitor your audit trail with smart spreadsheets

Using legal technology isn’t a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity. For legal operations professionals who have to juggle a diverse set of responsibilities, the opportunity to use digital tools is even greater. While there are countless products that can offer improvements and efficiency to one of the core competencies, we encourage you to seek a technology that offers the flexibility to answer more than one, if not all twelve.