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Digitally empowering Legal Departments to unlock business efficiency

Tom DunlopAmidst fierce competition, businesses are increasingly adopting digital advancements to meet market expectations and remain relevant. The ease and cost-effectiveness of adopting various digital tools and platforms such as cloud computing, AI and automation is driving this movement. 

Having previously worked as a General Counsel at a number of high-growth tech companies, I have observed that various departments such as finance, marketing, sales, and HR are leveraging technology to enhance customer and employee experiences, streamline processes, and improve data accuracy and analysis.

The legal department is often left behind in this digital revolution which can prove costly for businesses. By investing in technology and innovation specifically for the legal department, businesses can enjoy increased efficiency, resilience, agility, better collaboration, and reduced costs. 

Digitally-enabled legal teams can even fast-track negotiation cycles, leading to more sales and increased profits without worrying about legal risk. In my experience as a GC, I  witnessed first-hand the benefits of giving legal professionals the right tools to shift focus to more high-value legal work that drives business growth. 


Adopting technologies can help transform your business 

When utilised and empowered appropriately, technology can help in-house legal experts to boost strategic value and propel business forward. Investing in digital tools for legal departments, comparable to other departments, can create ample opportunities for General Counsels (GCs) to become legal disruptors and drive positive change.

Enabling collaboration

The use of digital technology can also significantly reduce friction and enhance collaboration among legal teams and colleagues across organisations. By enabling departments such as sales, HR, and marketing to self-serve and integrate with existing software, technology can save time and effort by gathering necessary information prior to involving the legal team.

Innovative legal technologies provide this functionality, bringing legal teams closer to internal stakeholders and ensuring legal considerations and integrated into all aspects of the business. Additionally, cloud-based Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems facilitate collaboration across teams and geographies. In short, digital tools can help streamline processes and foster better collaboration within the organisation, enabling legal teams to work more closely with their internal stakeholders for a more integrated approach. 


Improved risk management can streamline help operations

In today’s fast-paced business world, agility is crucial for success, and implementing legal technologies can enable businesses to respond swiftly to macroeconomic changes, such as new regulations or legal challenges. Adapting quickly to changing circumstances and market trends can help businesses gain a competitive edge, drive success, and create value. 

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems offer real-time insights into contract performance and can identify areas for improvement. By leveraging data-driven decisions, legal teams can proactively anticipate and mitigate legal risks while providing accurate legal advice rapidly.

The legal department’s role has evolved beyond the application of law, as legal teams are now required to navigate complex regulatory frameworks and mitigate legal risks in various areas, such as data privacy, cybersecurity, and intellectual property. As a result, technology has become a mission-critical aspect of many businesses, and the legal department plays a vital role in providing strategic legal counsel to ensure compliance with digital asset usage and best practices.

Reducing business expense 

Adopting digital technology throughout the legal department can result in significant cost savings and subsequent value creation. A legal department that relies entirely on data and digital tools would be able to offer instant resource access, automated contract creation, and effortless integration with essential business platforms such as Microsoft Word, Teams, Slack and Docusign. Receiving notifications for contract renewals would simplify maintaining complete oversight and authority over legal obligations. 

Adopting streamlining contract management processes can result in faster sales cycles, negotiations and operational efficiencies. So, this is not only a legal issue, but a business level one, particularly in the current global economic climate. 

Now is the time for legal departments to focus on digital transformation to make better use of data, improve communication services, and boost productivity. A digitally enabled legal team can become a company-wide strategic resource that helps to shape business strategy, drive growth and improve overall efficiency.

Summize is a digital contracting software business that exists to help everyone understand each other better.  Founded in 2018 by former General Counsel Tom Dunlop and Software Engineer David Smith, Summize addresses the pressing need to make contracts simpler and easier to understand with its innovative Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) technology. Summize takes a deliberately different approach to contracts through its integrations with existing technology including Teams, Slack and Microsoft Word to enable greater user adoption, faster contract cycles, measurable time savings and mitigated risk.  It’s digital contacting, done differently.

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