Opting for iterative and tailored techniques to help combat typical challenges is the new way forward for many legal teams.
The challenges faced by many in-house legal teams remain relatively similar: do more with less, being viewed as a cost centre, and facing difficulty in being seen as a business operations priority.
While the sources of these challenges can be simplified, solving them is often seen as far from straightforward.
A significant portion of legal requests still come through email, leading to communication breakdowns, inefficient workflows, and a high volume of repetitive work. Despite the growing workload, legal teams often struggle to justify investing in new legal technology, as the business fails to recognise the value they provide. This makes embarking on a digital transformation more challenging than it should be.
Finding the right technology to help
With an ever-growing legaltech marketplace, it’s easy to dismiss purported time and cost savings as fanciful. However, while it can be difficult to show business value from classic ‘point solutions’, adopting a platform approach offers significant opportunity.
Platform solutions and so-called ‘citizen development’ involve non-technical business personnel being empowered to build and deploy custom solutions, from small to substantial, to help ease their daily workloads.
Now this may be the moment you switch off, but I promise there’s merit to it. Looking at other business departments and functions, approximately 60% of custom business apps are now being built outside the IT department – with a significant proportion created by individuals with no programming experience. And this proportion is growing. Why is that?
What we’re talking about here isn’t about building an AI robot lawyer, but about automating piecemeal tasks and workflows. Think legal front door, task routing and tracking, document automation, and the likes. Small cogs in the machine saving minutes and hours of the day, but put it all together and you start making a compelling business case.
The key benefit is that an investment in (the right) no-code platform can deliver more and more value as time goes on. You’re not limited to a subscription cost that only helps solve one piece of the puzzle, instead you can develop a whole suite of tools under one roof.
Opportunities for legal departments
There are a wealth of ways in which legal departments are using no-code platforms to combat their challenges, but let’s just focus on the two main camps here: self-service tools, and internal workflow tools.
Now I’m not going to surprise you by saying that some requests to a legal department are simple and only necessitate a pretty mechanical response. For these tasks, you can develop self-service solutions that allow business users to get ‘the legal department’s services’ without taking up the legal department’s time. These can be as simple or complex as you need – a user goes through some questions to determine circumstances, and they receive answers based on the situation. If certain scenarios require support from the legal department, they can be automatically forwarded and assigned.
There’s many use cases for self-service tools, some of which you can learn about here.
Internal workflow tools
This second batch of solutions refers to those which help complete tasks and processes within the legal department. Again, there are many types – from document automation to approval processes, contact risk assessments to policy management. The key here is reducing friction and manual work to help free up time. No-code platforms allow for much greater flexibility when considering these types of solutions compared to off-the-shelf technology.
The challenges faced by legal teams have remained relatively constant, but the solutions available to overcome them have evolved significantly. While platform solutions do require a bit more creative thinking, you are empowered with tools that truly help you, and combat your unique challenges and workflows.
The fact that you can be iterative in what you build and what challenges to prioritise means that it helps all legal departments, big or small, display value and free up time. Work with or without your IT team depending on your circumstances, and avoid technology white elephants.
Contact us to learn more.