Onit, the leading provider of enterprise workflow solutions including enterprise legal management and contract lifecycle management, today released the concluding chapter of its Enterprise Legal Reputation (ELR) Report.
The ELR Report is a three-part multinational study spotlighting the image enterprise employees have of their legal departments, the way legal professionals see their interactions with internal clients, and the material impact Legal can have on its businesses — from revenue generation and operational efficiency to innovation and corporate culture.
In January, Onit commissioned Provoke Insights, a New York City-based market research firm, to conduct a study of 4,000 enterprise employees and 500 corporate legal professionals across the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. The study helps corporate legal departments understand their brand image through the eyes of their internal clients so they can improve working relationships, accelerate workflows and more effectively impact topline revenue and operational efficiency.
While earlier chapters revealed that internal clients are most concerned about Legal’s operational efficiency — such as responsiveness, speed of execution and resolution — the latest installment of the ELR Report found that executive teams and boards concentrate most on cost efficiency.
Historically, Legal’s spending has not been under the same watchful eye as Sales, Marketing, R&D or Procurement. However, there has been increased scrutiny on Legal’s operational and cost efficiency because of enterprise-wide budget and growth concerns stemming from current macroeconomic challenges of inflation, interest rates, gas prices, geopolitical crises and supply chain issues lingering from the COVID-19 pandemic. And given only one in three (36%) legal professionals admit to being able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for all outside counsel, the quest for accountability is at an all-time high.
To modernize operations, three in four (77%) global legal departments say they integrate artificial intelligence (AI), in some capacity, into their day-to-day processes. But despite this effort, half (47%) admit they currently lack sufficient systems and 46% acknowledge that Legal must do a better job at adopting technological innovation, highlighting the importance of adopting, not just implementing, the right technology. For example, the study found that contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions contribute to as much as 50% savings on legal spend alone, yet only half (54%) say their contract processes are automated.
While embracing technology within the department can improve operational and cost efficiency, the report also found that greater automation helps Legal directly contribute to the growth of its businesses by increasing revenue and improving sales negotiations. Legal plays an essential part in the speed and success of revenue acquisition, and the biggest opportunity to impact revenue generation relies on a strong link to Sales — nearly seven in 10 (68%) legal respondents believe they help Sales effectively close deals and generate revenue.
“The need for metamorphosis is clear — with global macroeconomic trends introducing risk based on inflation, consumer spending, corporate layoffs and more, it’s critical that Legal puts an emphasis on cost containment in addition to its contribution to revenue generation,” said Brad Rogers, Onit’s senior vice president of strategy & growth and a previous leader of transformation in a large global law department and at other enterprise companies. “Legal’s charter to protect the business, ensure corporate stability and mitigate risk isn’t new. The future of legal is re-envisioning possibility, driving materiality and achieving operational wins.”
Legal cannot be a cog that slows the wheel of the enterprise. The ELR Report found that Legal departments have an incredible opportunity to prove their impact on the business by bolstering revenue, improving sales negotiations and increasing cost and operational efficiency through the adoption of modernized critical workflows bolstered by AI-driven learnings. Purpose-built technologies can expose trends, evaluate performance, develop metrics and establish benchmarks around cycle times, as well as analyze matter portfolios by furnishing dashboard views and robust reporting to track total spend.
Read the ELR Report to learn more about the opportunities for Legal to evolve its image as a protector of the business and materially influence the enterprise by impacting business growth, contributing to faster revenue generation and improving operational and cost efficiency.
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