Webinar recap: best practices for selling the investment in legal technology internally
We just wrapped up our ‘Best Practices for Selling the Investment in Legal Technology Internally’ webinar – what a great discussion!
If you couldn’t make the webinar, we wanted to summarize the fantastic tips shared by Jay Andrews, Senior Counsel, Global Compliance and Employee Relations at Crocs and Sheena Ferrari, Head of Legal Risk Management Ops at Fitbit as soon as possible so in-house teams evaluating legal tech solutions are empowered to hit the ground running!
Interested in viewing the entire webinar?
You can also view the webinar recording and access the session slides here.
Key Takeaways from the Webinar
- Legal technology can save in-house legal departments time and money, but getting the right technology for your department requires you to clearly identify and evaluate your pain points
- Spend dashboards and business intelligence will provide key metrics to help understand inefficiencies so you can quantitatively identify areas for improvement and what success looks like
- You will not succeed in this effort without advocates and partners in the process – both within the legal department and throughout the organization – a tip that was reiterated throughout the webinar!
Where should you begin when looking to get buy-in for legal tech? Start with the why. If you don’t understand why your current technology or process isn’t working, you’re not going to be able to sell the need for a tech investment to your supervisor, management, or other departments. A few areas to focus on might include:
- Identifying the pain points that you and your legal team face, and how they would be remedied with a potential solution – and don’t be afraid to get specific!
- Uncovering inefficiencies such as employee time (hours lost working in excel spreadsheets), lack of robust reporting capabilities, or an over-complicated approval process for getting a task completed.
- Finding exemplars which can include industry studies (Gartner), your in-house team, and other corporate counsel peers to better understand the legal technology landscape, allowing you to compare different technologies and see how the tools stack up against one another.
When living in a sea of legal technology, finding and narrowing down the list can be a bit challenging and overwhelming. “Reach out and lean on your peers. I love the CLOC organization because it gives legal ops professionals a really great group of individuals to share knowledge with,” shares Sheena.
She also recommends that legal teams go through an RFP process. Start with a larger number of vendors and use your identified pain points to determine how the tool can help you achieve your goals instead of only thinking about what additional benefits the tool can provide you. Once you have a smaller list of vendors – Sheena’s sweet spot is three – have each submit an RFP to get a very clear understanding of the technologies and features available to you.
Pro Tip: Think about scalability! With a clear view of your pain points, goals, priorities, and budgets, think about how technology can scale with you as you grow! You won’t be the same company a year or even six months from now, so make sure you invest in technology that doesn’t just solve today’s most pressing issue.
Determining Expected ROI
When looking to calculate the expected ROI of a potential solution, it’s important to have a baseline for how much your legal department is spending. Review your last five years of legal spend and remove outlier matters with a large cost associated as a starting point. Then you can ask yourself, “If I’m spending x amount of dollars in legal fees per year, what can technology do to help lower those costs?”
Legal spend dashboards and business intelligence are extremely helpful in understanding where you stand. But what if you don’t have access to these resources? Or more importantly, what if you don’t even have access to five years of data?
Worry not! To build the strongest case for a legal tech investment, quantitative benefits can be helpful, but don’t overlook the qualitative benefits. One example that comes to mind is the ability to be more strategic with legal technology as it streamlines and automates time-consuming manual processes, allowing users to regain valuable hours, which can be devoted to higher-value legal work.
Best Practices for Getting What You Want
To build consensus, start by drafting a business case for the tool you’re looking to implement that includes:
- Quantitative and qualitative benefits
- Costs of various vendors
- Timeline (how long it will take to implement)
- Team of individuals involved in the process
A comprehensive business case and presenting multiple options helps your executive team understand the various paths forward and can make it easier to select the best option for your organization. By educating these individuals early on in the process, you avoid finding out later that you don’t have buy-in or that there are blockers like budget.
Adopting a new legal technology takes a village. To obtain buy-in from multiple groups, work to identify cross-functional benefits whether for HR, securities, finance, etc. When you look beyond the legal department and can present how benefits might extend to other departments in the organization, it provides you with additional leverage to build an even stronger case for technology investment. “If you’re spinning your wheels trying to figure out how a legal technology will benefit other departments, just ask the vendor,” shares Jay. This is their bread and butter and they want to be able to expose as many departmental and organization-wide benefits as possible.
Pro Tip: Make IT your greatest ally! It’s important to loop in your IT team early in the process, having a conversation to clearly explain how a legal technology solution provides an enhanced process or supplements a current process to achieve better outcomes. IT departments are often sensitive to system overload, due in large part to the fragmented technology universe. The more you can consolidate technologies, the stronger your case for legal teh can be!
A great example is the communications tool, Slack, which can be utilized by the legal department. In fact, Logikcull wrote a comprehensive and downloadable guide on Discovery and Investigations in Slack to highlight some of the ways to leverage Slack’s features and functionality for use by in-house professionals.
You’ve Bought It, Now Use It
How to Ensure Adoption and Implementation
In the beginning of the webinar, we polled attendees about their greatest challenges for adopting new technology and nearly 50% of respondents cited adoption, giving the speakers an opportunity to share tips on how legal teams can overcome tech adoption challenges.
Sheena mentioned one of the most important things in ensuring adoption is not making cost saving promises because it can result in lack of adoption should the savings not roll in immediately. Instead, she puts a lot of effort and time into the tool during the first year, really focusing on training and onboarding, while also making sure that she’s positioned to pull metrics outlining success at the end of the year.
Jay added that when starting out with a new technology, opt for a shorter contract (between one to three years) instead of a long-term contract to give your team check-in points to ensure the technology is working and meeting your needs. You’ll want to work closely with your tech vendor, not just during the implementation of your legal tech solution and onboarding, but throughout the year to learn how to use the tool to its highest capacity, newly released features and functionality, and general best practices.
Last, but definitely not least, change management is a huge part of adoption. Make sure all stakeholders have the training and self-help options (like videos) early in the process and communicate the value of the solution at every chance you get. And change management doesn’t have to be boring! At Fitbit, new technologies have been celebrated organization-wide with themed happy hours and even a lemonade stand where people could stop by for a refreshment and learn more about a recently adopted business tool. Thinking creatively goes a long way!
To close out, we’d like to extend a big thank you to our moderator Casey Sullivan and our friends at Logikcull for co-hosting the webinar with us and kickstarting an engaging conversation on a topic commonly discussed among in-house legal teams.
For additional information on how to build the strongest possible business case for legal tech, download our Making the Case White Paper and get access to an email template that can be customized to your individual needs!