SMOOTH LEGAL TECH
Smoothing Things Out
Smooth! What’s that? “Completing a task with such grace and fluidity that the onlooker will lose appreciation for how difficult a task it really was.” (Urban Dictionary).
That’s what every organization wants for their Legal Tech implementations. “Dude, that painter did a smooth job on the front door. Was in and out in no time!” Yep, we want the same with Legal Tech — Smooooooooth. That hot rod needs not encounter any speed bumps along the road. Bottom line is we want to get there fast, with shortest Time to Value.
Time to Value in the context of Legal Tech implementation is the span of time from the investment action to seeing the promised valuable results as shown in the time series chart above. To make it simple, consider a real life example of buying an umbrella. Time to value is less than 5 minutes. Legal Tech implementations will take a bit longer than 5 minutes, but the shorter the better so the claimed project benefits when the investment decision was made are realized sooner rather than later.
Have you ever purchased furniture in a box ready to be assembled at your home. You open up the box, spread out the pieces and parts. You read the cryptic instructions. You find a piece or two missing, so you stop to phone customer service. You put half of it together and discover a piece that you secured in place is upside down. You get the picture. It takes you forever to enjoy what you paid for. With Legal Tech you want Time to Value to be shortened as much as possible so the beneficial results are quickly realized. It keeps bosses on board, undermines cynics, rewards change agents, and gives evidence that further investment in Legal Tech is justified. You want to build momentum quickly!
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
If the Legal Tech point solution software solution is intuitive and has a fairly light footprint you will have a smoooooth implementation, no doubt. There are other cases, however, where a particular point solution touches many different systems and data repositories in your organization’s data ecosystem. And in many firms data is compartmentalized in isolated and disparate databases. Reaching into them to get needed fuel for the new Legal Tech hot rod may prove to be a challenge. Speed bumps can in those cases be plentiful and lengthen significantly the Time to Value.
In parallel with Legal Tech implementation it is well worth it to check under the hood and gauge the Readiness of your Information Infrastructure and fix or improve any weaknesses found. Your Information Infrastructure is the aggregate of people and systems that collect, process, disseminate, or act on information. And your Legal Tech connects to all of that. If you invest in only one Legal Tech point solution software, the potential speed bumps may be minimal, but that is not what typically happens. More Legal Tech products are added as the gold rush accelerates. And Information Infrastructures are like air conditioners. They work fine until you start opening windows. Piling on Legal Tech is like opening windows. It’s best to get ahead of the curve and check into this now. It reminds me of the old Fram Oil Filter TV commercial which said, “You can pay me now or pay me later.” Time and money can be saved by looking into this at the outset.
Don’t build your house on shifting sand. A solid foundation of a healthy Information Infrastructure is vital to success and many times is not addressed until problems occur during implementation. The pillars of a solid Information Infrastructure are much more than IT considerations. They involve business elements, workflows, strategy, people, and organizational culture. Take a look at these Six Pillars and reflect on how you might gauge Readiness in these categories.
Those data ecosystem elements key to delivering business results
Infrastructure components with corporate level financial impacts
Required for justifying/monitoring legal tech investments’ ROI
Best practices required for efficient infrastructure operation
Disciplines to be maintained to get the most from AI investments
Methods to ensure legal tech user experience is highest value
Culture excellence keys for legal tech assimilation and use
Crucial competencies for legal tech success
Staff technical disciplines required inside or out-sourced
Architectural considerations to assure superior performance
System qualities which shorten time to value
Key characteristics of technical components excellence
Best practice workflows to get fully engaged
Methodologies practiced for infrastructure excellence
Key data-rich business process and infrastructure alignment
Digital risk strategies implemented for required protection
Critical protection systems deployed across all platforms
Frameworks for secure access management
“The loftier the building, the deeper the foundation to be laid.” — Thomas a Kempis