The responses to a recent Deloitte-commissioned survey of 300 in-house legal executives contain good news for those working closely with in-house legal departments on risk management and compliance-related issues. An executive summary of survey results, Going beyond risk and compliance: Enabling the Legal function to embrace digital transformation, indicates that a majority of respondents feel that in-house legal departments are aware of and open to the use of technology in efforts to make risk management and compliance more efficient and cost-effective.
While there is a willingness to move forward with the use of technology to automate repetitive tasks, improve collaboration, and proactively contribute to the overall strategy of their organizations, there is still work to be done. “Despite encouraging levels of awareness and signs of adaptability, survey respondents have revealed that there is still progress needed before the Legal function fully embraces digital opportunities,” write the study authors. “When they do this, Legal will be able to revamp its approach to risk management and compliance, thus becoming more agile, more integrated and more value-driven, playing an integral role in the delivery of corporate strategy.”
Legal departments are ready for automation
Investment in technology that will help to streamline processes and reduce time spent on administrative tasks is one of the hurdles that still need to be cleared when it comes to putting technology to work. While 60% of respondents to the Deloitte survey state that their function is amenable to adopting technology to handle routine and repetitive tasks, only 56% confirm that legal is investing in such technology.
Five benefits of using a cloud-based RMIS for matter management highlights how the use of automated workflow tools, like those available in Origami Risk’s integrated risk management information system (RMIS) and GRC solutions, can free legal staff from repetitive, time-consuming activities. More than simply speeding up a process, automating routine tasks yields value by freeing up team members to focus on more critical aspects of their job.
Make automation matter examines how a smart approach to automation can help. This approach includes reviewing and making changes to processes prior to automation to ensure that bad processes aren’t being automated. Equally important is choosing automation technology that is easy to use, then providing the necessary training. Failure to do so has the potential to negate the benefits that might otherwise be gained through automation: “Time that could be used performing more high-value activities winds up spent managing software.”
Technology that is flexible enough to be adapted to the nuances of each process within the organization is also critical. As an example, the article describes round-robin assignments—a solution that could be applied to help streamline one of the specific processes the Deloitte summary mentions as being ripe for automation: contract review.
Legal departments continue working to eliminate silos
Departmental and data silos have a negative impact on an organization’s overall risk management and compliance efforts. While silos are not unique to in-house legal departments alone, the Deloitte study acknowledges “that Legal can play a proactive role in supporting the organization’s overall business strategy by breaking out of the narrow legal silo and becoming more connected to other corporate departments and operating units–proactively driving economic value for the business.”
Improved collaboration is yet another benefit of extending access to an integrated RMIS and GRC system to members of the legal team. As an example, Five benefits of using a cloud-based RMIS for matter management points out how this might improve collaboration.
“It makes sense that the system in which claim, location, policy, employee, related contact, and other details are stored can also be used for consolidating documentation tied to claims litigation. Rather than switching between multiple systems, access to all of the key data elements, notes, emails, and attachments related to litigation on a claim record is simplified.”
In many cases, technology capable of contributing to improved collaboration across the organization may already be in place. Responses to the Deloitte survey indicated that 86% of respondents “believe their Legal functions have data platforms that facilitate collaboration with other functions across the organization.”
Having this technology in place certainly is a promising start to collaborating with partners in other departments tasked with risk management and compliance efforts. An integrated RMIS and GRC solution that allows for integration completes the connection. Five benefits of using a cloud-based RMIS for matter management sums it up this way, “…if third-party matter management software is already being used to handle legal documents and billing, flexible integration capabilities allow data to be exchanged between the systems, eliminating the silos of data and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.”
General Counsel and teams are looking to be more proactive and strategic
According to the Deloitte report, “75% of respondents agree that the Legal function can play a big part in corporate strategy in the next three years, with new technologies opening the door for this shift.” Doing so will expand the role that legal plays in driving economic value for their organization.
For members of an in-house legal team to play an expanded role in corporate strategy, they must have access to actionable information. But high-value data alone is wasted if it isn’t effectively communicated. Critical is access to this data in the form of analytics tailored by role and presented in easily consumable dashboards, reports, and graphs.
Equally important are tools that add to legal’s ability determine how strategic efforts are working, by making it possible to track performance metrics and measure outcomes. The ability to effectively tie reports back to organizational efforts is also key. For example, Value-Added Insights with PowerPoint Reporting for Brokers highlights a tool available to users of Origami Risk that can be useful for members of the legal team looking to improve upon their ability to communicate KPIs when reporting to the C-suite.
When selecting RMIS and GRC solutions, bring in the lawyers!
When purchasing a RMIS or GRC technology solution, legal will certainly be involved in the contract review stage. But why wait until then? Rather than assuming that other departments, including legal, already have solutions in place, Tips for Selecting the Right RMIS recommends including key members of departments to increase the value of the organization’s RMIS or GRC platform.
As the responses to the Deloitte survey show, legal is increasingly open to using technology to transform both their day-to-day tasks and the value they provide to the organization as a whole. With the necessary investment in the right technology, that transformation is possible.
Origami Risk offers integrated risk management and compliance solutions include tools that can transform risk management and compliance processes, contribute to breaking down data silos, and provide a more expansive view of risk and compliance data.
Contact us to request a demo of our RMIS and GRC technology, or to see how the legal teams of Origami Risk are using the platform.