Is Digital Transformation Important to Corporate Legal Counsel?
Digital transformation – the term is thrown about quite often these days. It may even seem like a no-brainer. After all, the world has gone digital already, by and large. Instead of wet-signed, paper-based contracts, and analog and manual processing, now cloud technology, artificial intelligence, and digital-based solutions ‘make the world go round.’ So why would anyone think that a digital transformation isn’t unfolding before our very eyes?
Okay, we get it in the business process context. But is digital transformation really important from the general counsel’s perspective? And, ultimately, will it have a huge impact on the legal sector as a whole? Businesses and economies do better when their transactions and worlds are digitized.
GENERAL COUNSEL’S MANDATE
Businesses around the world will forever be in the process of ‘going digital.’ Where possible, important documents are created and kept in a digital format. Or, if they were analog (paper-based) to begin with, they are digitized for easier storage, retrieval, access, and use. As businesses become even more digital, pressures on legal teams and general counsels will only mount.
Digital transformation is especially important when the CEO mandates that legal teams find ways to do ‘more for less.’ And it becomes critical when the general counsel must transform their parts of the business, along with others.
DOES DIGITIZATION MAKE SENSE?
When gauging the importance of digital transformation, look at its impact on companies overall. The graph below is from Tufts University, which investigated the countries where digital thrives. The graph shows 42 countries, ranking each on their ease or difficulty of doing business across various digital dimensions and platforms. With the U.S. leading the way, the top 10 countries are from North America and Western Europe. “Break Out” Countries Have a Trust Surplus, “Stall Out” Countries Have a Trust Deficit.
So is digital transformation that important? Clearly, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Digital businesses and economies are easier ecosystems in which to conduct business.
Is Digital Transformation Important to Contracts?
As businesses drive toward being digital, there are pressures on legal and general counsel. It is said that “contracts are the lifeblood of modern businesses.” It stands to reason, then, that if organizations and economies do far better when transactions are digitized, that is reflected best by business contracts.
Just think about a centralized smart repository, AI analytics, and so on. Think fully digital documents that are signed, sent, received, edited, and redlined much quicker than manual efforts.
This all represents a step up for businesses – and an invitation to the proverbial party.
STILL NOT CONVINCED?
In a recent article about “Competing in the Age of AI,” the Harvard Business Review points to how digital drives the overall value of organizations. More specifically, it discusses how the adoption of artificial intelligence benefits adopters of digital processes. The graph below shows exactly how digital operating models significantly outperform.
How AI-Driven Companies Can Outstrip Traditional Firms
BACK TO THE GENERAL COUNSEL
There is no question that digital has taken over the world, transforming it across various bastions of resistance. One of those bastions is our legal profession and industry. In fact, we are on the cusp of our own ‘digital industrial revolution.’ Still, corporate legal teams have focused on the risks of new technologies and digitization. That is instead of looking at the enormous upsides of making such technological improvements.
At ContractPodAi, we are pleased to offer a digital transformation scorecard tool. Just complete this short questionnaire so that we can evaluate where you are on the digital transformation journey and prescribe the next best step for your legal team.
Also, contact us at ContractPodAi today for a pressure-free discussion about contract lifecycle management, or click here to request a demo.
Remember the saying by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?” Now, take yours by asking how important digital transformation is to you. Check out our e-book, “Three Stages of Legal Digital Transformation,” to get started.
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