Bite-sized Views from 3Kites Consulting – Some Key Challenges for Buying Legal Tech in 2021 (And How to Overcome Them!)
Supply-side dynamics in the current market reinforce buyer uncertainty: Anyone involved in purchasing technology will be familiar with the following worries:
i. Will I invest in a winner or a loser? Covid-19 erodes market confidence just as it erodes sources of capital for investment.
ii. Will my chosen technology interface with my other tech solutions? For example, new e-billing solutions sometimes fail to interface with management reporting or accounts payable systems. Pin your chosen supplier down on this question!
iii. Finding the tried & tested solutions? Do your DD and take up references offered by suppliers. Treat your own tech procurement as you would any other corporate deal.
iv. Will my supplier support me on implementation AND adoption? Resource the adoption and implementation stages effectively to ensure success.
3Kites’ Top Tips:
v. Avoid “The Tech Geek Influence”: There’s a “tech geek” in every legal team with all the answers, but rarely the breadth of vision to do justice to creating a digital strategy. So harness the enthusiasm of the geek but as part of a team effort within a good decision-making framework.
vi. Avoid the “magpie effect”: That’s buying tech because it’s new, it’s shiny and it’s well-sold! Always understand the problem you face and the processes involved within that problem before you determine which solution fits best.
vii. Get to know your Enterprise IT team: Tech implementations are their bread & butter so get them on-board with your legal project. Your IT support might not know everything about the current Legal technology world, but they will still add value to your tech strategy and plans.
viii. Join with other service functions in the company to solve a shared technology problem: Sharing a common problem with your Compliance, Regulatory or Internal Audit team can significantly improve your tech business case and allow sharing of budget costs/resource. And when it comes to the critical adoption phase…
ix. Err on the side of simple, intuitive solutions over complex ones: The “bells & whistles” version often builds in unnecessary user complexity which hinders adoption.
x. Ask your supplier about adoption support: It can make or break the adoption phase of new technology by having an expert available to come in and ‘floor-walk’ to reinforce training and to problem solve.
xi. Align your online portals for business clients with the look & feel adopted by other business “service functions”: You are starting on the right foot if your business portals share the familiar look and feel already used by other departments.
xii. Treat all new tech purchases/upgrades as a project – plan properly and ensure you have the right resources: Don’t leave the implementation of your new global e-billing solution to be run by the one-year qualified lawyer who has just joined the team! (It’s a recipe for disaster)
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Giles Pemberton – February 2021