Thriving in the Digital Age
During the past decade, radical change has coursed through enterprises of all sizes, propelled forward by a convergence among vital technologies, from cloud computing/big data and artificial intelligence/machine learning to the Internet of Things. These highly disruptive technologies provide an opportunity for business executives to create outsized economic value and obtain superior productivity, commercial insight, and competitive advantage when measured against their peers who do not perceive the advantages of swiftly adopting such technologies. Digital Transformation, as the process of adoption and deployment of these technologies is commonly referred to, is occurring in almost every aspect of business, from core operations to shared services and corporate support functions. Several recent commentaries—from McKinsey & Co., Gartner, and others—note that the value of Digital Transformation could amount to trillions of dollars in productivity gains annually for companies that successfully adopt and implement a comprehensive Digital Transformation strategy.
There is, however, one notable outlier when it comes to an enterprise’s Digital Transformation—the legal department. Common issues across law departments are a lack of both resources and the necessary attention of the c-suite to adopt and implement their own Digital Transformation initiatives. According to a study commissioned by UnitedLex in January 2020, many corporate law departments believe that time and cost are prohibiting factors in undertaking Digital Transformation. For those that have implemented digital assets, few have developed productivity metrics to determine whether their efforts are enhancing the value of the corporate enterprise they serve. Furthermore, it remains the norm that law firms measure productivity based on hours billed, rather than looking at client-centric value generated or potential legal/commercial risk avoided.
But there is hope. Working with the right partner, corporate legal departments can undergo “Digital Legal Transformation” that progressively moves the function from cost center to value creator for the enterprise. To achieve success, that partner must bring deep domain expertise in the operation of complex, multi-jurisdictional legal departments across multiple industries to ensure that the right legal resources are deployed efficiently and quickly in furtherance of the enterprise’s business objectives. Further, that partner must have the balance sheet strength to sustain long-term capital investments on behalf of the law department that would not be sustainable individually by any corporate law department on its own. Finally, that partner must be able to quickly assess, design and implement a robust productivity-enhancing technology platform that addresses the law department’s needs while bringing new insights derived from the vast quantities of measurable legal department data generated and cataloged by the system.
We believe UnitedLex is that right partner for corporate law departments that recognize Digital Legal Transformation as essential to their development. Our unique combination of balance sheet strength, profound depth of consultative engagements with many of the most sophisticated Fortune 500 law departments, and our proprietary legal technology platform—UnitedLex Vantage—provide the necessary foundation for a successful partnership with enterprise legal departments.