When it comes to technology, there are clear desires and stressors, and a mixed approach to planning for and evaluating resources among in-house legal teams, according to corporate legal operations software provider Xakia Technologies.
Following a global online assessment conducted with in-house teams across five continents, Xakia has formed a picture of what legal departments are scouting for and what technology roadmaps are being fleshed out by corporate counsel.
Matter management tools are high on the wish list for legal departments, the provider said.
“While adoption rates were under 20 per cent for all department sizes, matter management is on the radar for 73 per cent of teams of two to five lawyers, 50 per cent of teams of six to 10 lawyers, 48 per cent of teams of 11 to 50 lawyers and 57 per cent of teams with 50 or more lawyers,” Xakia managing director Jodie Baker wrote.
When it comes to litigation management and e-discovery tools, more than 40 per cent of large departments employ such legal tech, but implementation is low among small and medium teams, Xakia said.
“That may be temporary … these tools are being evaluated or developed by 73 per cent of teams of two to five lawyers, 65 per cent of teams of six to 10 lawyers, and 79 per cent of teams with 11 to 50 lawyers,” Ms Baker wrote.
Intellectual property management is a particularly attractive proposition for larger teams, the provider continued.
“74 per cent of teams with 11 to 50 lawyers feel the need or are exploring options, 57 per cent of teams with 50 or more lawyers are exploring options or have a solution in development,”Ms Baker explained.
In addition, contract automation tools were also on team wish lists, according to Xakia.
“While use of contract automation tools currently tops out at 18 per cent across all teams, 57 per cent of large departments are either exploring options or developing a solution, [and] another 14 per cent say development is well underway,” Ms Baker said.
Looking ahead, Xakia mused the existence or otherwise of technology roadmaps – described by the provider as a “purposeful plan for in-house legal tech” – for corporate counsel across the board.
“No departments of five lawyers or fewer said they had a technology roadmap, 71 per cent of law departments with more than 50 lawyers said they have one in place,” Ms Baker wrote.
“A smattering of mid-size departments have roadmaps – one-third of departments of six to 10 lawyers, and 11 per cent of 11 to 50 lawyers.”
Taking the time to strategically consider your technology is imperative for successful corporate legal operations, she concluded.
“Without a plan that accounts for strategy, department and business needs, timing and budget, you risk making one-off decisions that could lead to tech that doesn’t meet your most pressing needs, cooperate with other software or, most critically, work for your people,” she said.
“Of course, the roadmap must be a living document, adjusting as your department, your company and the technology itself evolves. This is an area for improvement for legal teams of all sizes.”