Embedding and Integrating Technology in the legal industry – pointers to success

The possibilities and potential that technology is offering to the legal industry seem to be growing by the day and with this growth comes opportunity. However, the implementation of new technologies can be an area of challenge, often delivering results that don’t meet expectations.

Some common causes for this “failure” are shown in the fishbone/Ishikawa below;


The Ishikawa details only a small set of issues that can effect a technology implementation, there are many many more within the legal industry. So how can we avoid this failure and ensure success?


When implementing a new technology the people element is perhaps the most critical. This will begin with leaders “walking the walk” and demonstrating expected behaviors. Good leaders will communicate with their teams both increasing buy in ( understanding the why and the how) and reducing worry. A good change management approach is essential and will cover all of these elements and more.


All too often the wrong technology is selected which will result in a frustrating failed and costly implementation attempt. Causes for this vary but can often be avoided by not “Buying the Brochure content” and through accurate internal scoping of current state. “Brochure” content can be avoided by using peer reviews & Go and Sees which give an accurate view of the technologies way of working and capabilities in “real time” allowing this to be compared with your own Function methods and needs. In turn, these can be understood using process mapping, issue collation, performance data such as KPIs and user insights.


The correct technology can be chosen and yet failure still ensue if the Functions strategic elements are not considered. Everyone impacted by the technology must be able to see how the technology helps advance the departmental goals.

For example;

  • Does the technology support a bigger purpose?
  • Does the technology align to strategic or operational needs of the Function or Business?

Another important strategic element is that of the yearly planning and budgeting cycle as this will affect the ease of implementation, budget available, resource available and success of implementation as a whole.


Mo Zain Ajaz

National Grid
• GC and COO at National Grid plc a FTSE 100 company • Founder of – a legal operations consultancy • Founder of – a know how portal for the legal eco-system • Fellow of College of Legal Practice Management 2019 • Voted Individual of the Year: Legal Operations 2019 by the Legal 500 • Voted ‘the Purchaser’ [1 of 6 role models for corporate counsel] by Financial Times in 2018 • Voted 2017 Hot100 Lawyer by the Lawyer Magazine • Acknowledged on GC Powerlist UK 2018 [Team Elite: Energy] • MBA from Warwick University and MSc in Lean Enterprise from University of Buckingham • Keen interest in exploring Lean, Operational and Process Excellence in the legal market