How Legal can drive organisational strategy

By Jessica M. Kirk - Marketing Assistant, Docusign EMEA 

We hosted a roundtable discussion with the objective being that participants from legal lines of business could better understand how to drive organisational strategy through technology – specifically by leveraging data and smarter agreements. The key takeaway? The tech is the easy part. It’s the identification of an organisation's current processes, and their behavioural attitude to change management, that is core.

Participants came from varied backgrounds of organisational size, role, and stages of the digital journey. Yet what drove attendance was a keen interest in learning more about legal operations from their peers, sharing best practices, and understanding how new technology, such as contract lifecycle management, could drive efficiencies for their business.

What is contract lifecycle management? (CLM)

CLM streamlines the management of each contract through automatic contract generation.

Interestingly, Gartner research shows that only 19% of in-house legal teams currently know how to implement digitisation efforts.

Automate contracts across legal

The legal profession has a commitment to tradition that is centuries old. While other professions have moved towards digitisation, it is not uncommon for legal today to still be operating in manual processes. While these certain timeless practices may be entrenched in culture, it impedes on the legal industry’s ability to be a key partner by keeping up with the rest of the business. By implementing automation in contracting, legal can enhance collaboration between other business partners, provide legal support using digital technology, and empower the organisation to do their own work. In digitising, legal can develop a service that is data-driven, user-focused, self-service enabled, and optimised.

Build a business case for technology

At the roundtable discussion, ¾ of the participants reported that they had to build a business case to get funding for technology.

Data is critical when building a business case. ‘Activity analysis’ can demonstrate how much time is spent in meetings, projects, admin, and other daily blockages. Legal can leverage existing software to measure this, or it can be as simple as post-it notes on whiteboards to monitor where output is being concentrated.

Once observed how much time is being wasted on admin, the data can be then be used as a catalyst to start a process change. Buy in from the business’ stakeholders is also instrumental. They can help to define what the larger organisational processes are and work together collaboratively to evaluate change. Finally, listen to your clients. They can act as champions in driving change as they are demanding organisations to keep up with technology solutions that can benefit their experience too.

Digitise the risk and compliance process

Legal should consider digitising and assessing their culture of risk and compliance. This reassessment will help to move an organisation’s strategy further by evaluating process change.

Technology can enable legal to demonstrate its impact on the business beyond risk. What’s more, data can be harnessed by legal to stop practices that are less cost-effective through analysis of the lifecycle of documents.

Transform your Contract Lifecycle Management

Again, the tech solution for this is easy. Moving beyond just eSignature, we recently launched the Docusign Agreement Cloud: a product suite for your systems of agreements. Specifically, its acquisition of SpringCM, a leader in the category of contract lifecycle management, is instrumental in amplifying legal digital processes. It brings several additional capabilities to the table to help accelerate agreement processes.

Influence behavioural attitudes to change management

Yet, before onboarding technology to streamline and create efficiencies in your business, look at what could be the root problem. Using technology as a band-aid over poor existing processes and behavioural attitudes to change management renders the solution unsuccessful long-term. Tech enables improvement, but it’s winning the hearts and minds of those who are adopting the change that needs to be at the core.

Read the eBook: The Docusign Agreement Cloud for Legal

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