A Closer Look at Legal Ops: One Company Eyes Operational Processes in the Digital Realm
As a worldwide technology leader in the media and entertainment sector, the company must constantly innovate for the future. That means it must improve the technological tools for its storytellers, and the overall experiences of its audiences. From a legal ops point of view, the company’s continued success is supported by legal technology adoption and implementation, itself.
The company’s end-to-end contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution, for instance, makes thousands of everyday contracts and related documents far more visible and accessible. It allows its legal teams to quickly and easily assemble, automate, approve, sign, and manage all agreements. (And employees can do this from any office or location in the world.) Just as importantly, it offers its corporate legal counsels AI capabilities right out of the box.
In a previous blog post, we discussed how the company actually drove legal tech adoption and provided a CLM solution for its various legal teams around the world. Here, we will share some insights on legal operations in the digital realm in 2021.
Defining ‘legal operations’
Legal operations are characterized by strategic thinking and implementation plans around workflow systems. This is considered to be fairly progressive work for most legal departments, particularly in North America. And it is only growing in awareness and popularity.
Indeed, in-house legal counsels have a consistent need to scale up resources. Legal ops is more of a philosophy for – or approach to – the practice of law. It is a perspective that the legal department can – and probably should – be an integral part of everyday business operations.
Recognizing the importance of legal ops teams
The improvement of operational processes, especially through technology, reduces the amount of time legal professionals spend performing ministerial tasks. This adds intrinsic value to the business by returning time to lawyers. Oftentimes, the aforementioned work can take their focus off higher-quality, higher-level legal functions.
Legal ops also help get key resources and assets in the right territories, at the right time. This adds even more value.
Far too often, people look at contracts or contract filing and say, “we’ll just put it in the round file.” It is a process that companies simply check off and say is “done.” They may not see the need to look at a contract ever again. Eventually, though, there might be internal investigations that require external legal counsel support. The costs of this are saved with an internal legal ops process, which identifies inefficient checks and balances in the first place.
Shifting legal teams’ focus contributes to cost savings
Departments without legal operations capabilities spend 30 percent more than those that have them, according to Gartner. If you have a budget of $1 million for your legal team’s salaries and overhead, for instance, you may spend about $300,000 a year on contract administration. However, this can be automated with an effective contract management system (CMS). Prioritizing legal operations and leveraging legal tech is almost a self-funding proposal then. If you give $300,000 worth of time back to the legal team and purchase a $100,000-CLM system, you will have $200,000 in value.
It is anticipated that even the leanest legal teams can become more strategic partners. That is if they have the liberty to think ahead and think progressively. As stated above, legal professionals who spend more time on higher-level functions than lower-level ones greatly add to legal operations on the whole. And that is what lawyers are really paid to do.
Looking at legal ops in the future
These days, contractual information sits in the ‘hub and spoke’ of everything that companies need to function properly. Legal departments need to maximize their ability to collect, utilize, and share this all-too-crucial data, accordingly.
To be sure, though, legal teams will move upstream with legal ops in the coming decades. They will provide business or legal analytics directly to the business team so that the two can make intelligent joint decisions. Legal teams – through the use of legal ops – will become a more proactive force than a reactionary one also. They will be perceived as a major contributor instead of a total “cost center” in a company.
Of course, it has taken the company a while. It is at a relatively early stage when it comes to AI-powered contract management software. But it has started to develop a real head of steam. Continuing along this same path in its digital transformation journey, it will start to attune people to change management. So, the next time that it introduces new legal tech across the company, employees will be less skeptical and more readily able to adopt it.
Choosing the right CLM solution
Nevertheless, the success of a company’s legal operations depends on the scale of digital innovation. In other words, it must deploy new digital tools according to the needs of its internal and external clients.
After evaluating several options and assessing various vendors, the technology company believed ContractPodAi shared this perspective. ContractPodAi’s CLM solution allowed it to meticulously manage thousands of contracts and related documents. The end result is as striking as it is significant: its contract management is far more efficient and effective than ever before. It has cut all of those costs traditionally tied to the contracting process, too.
Want to learn how ContractPodAi facilitates contract management for other companies around the world? Request a demo with ContractPodAi today.
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