Before a company can implement new legal technology, you must first create a roadmap to keep your business on the path to realizing true value from your new solution.
Mitratech recently sat down with in-house expert Brian McGovern to discuss his experience implementing an enterprise-wide matter management and eBilling solution at his former company, AIG.
In this Q&A, McGovern shares his insights into implementing these legal technology systems that saved his former company an average of 6.7% annually on their legal invoicing alone. In this interview, McGovern discusses the importance of strategic vision, who to include in the decision making process, how to encourage user adoption and how to move forward with your chosen legal management solution.
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Q: Can you talk about the importance of creating a technology roadmap when you implemented the TeamConnect matter management solution at AIG?
A: You absolutely need to have a technology roadmap. Otherwise, you will wind up exactly where you started, or even more fractured. When you’re trying to create a vision that can help you move your company forward, ending up back where you started isn’t exactly ideal.
When you don’t have a roadmap in place that covers what you’re going to do, people go off and buy their own systems and use them in inconsistent ways. It becomes very difficult to herd the cats if you will, and the inconsistency creates a larger business problem.
When I first started at AIG, we all recognized that our spend was unclear and that we had room for improvement. For example, we had multiple eBilling and matter management systems across the enterprise that didn’t talk to each other and didn’t do things consistently.
We also had no data hierarchy so we couldn’t compare business groups and similar legal processes and related spend. We couldn’t compare our legal spend with our legal matters and use those insights to improve our relations with and spend on outside counsel.
Now, sometimes this inconsistency occurs because people go off and do things themselves, but it can also happen naturally during acquisitions. During acquisitions, you can easily wind up with several different programs in place just because they came with the companies you acquired.
Frequent acquisitions make having a technology roadmap and vision more important than ever. A roadmap creates the alignment your business needs to stay on track.
While it’s very important to establish where you want to be and why from a technology standpoint, it’s also important that you make changes to the management side of the process. That way you can set the standards for what you’re doing and where you’re moving as a company.
Ultimately, you just need a vision for people to get on board with.
Q: So building a roadmap isn’t just a technology issue, it’s a process issue as well?
A: Yes. It’s a technology issue, it’s a process issue, it’s a vision issue. Building a roadmap encompasses all sides of the legal operations process. While ultimately, your technology roadmap for legal management solutions must address pressing legal needs, it has to address business concerns too.
For example, your goal can’t be to just have fewer applications to support, that’s not a very good roadmap. A good technology roadmap addresses those issues of course, but the most convincing issues are in business terms, because ultimately the business is what you’re trying to improve through doing this right.
You need to have better data, implement the right business processes to support your technology and control and understand legal spend and implement best practices. A good technology roadmap combines all of those items together….
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