A best-in-class enterprise legal management platform like TeamConnect can do enormous good for a legal department and Legal Operations. But how can all its benefits be pushed out to the rest of the organization?
The first question some might ask is, why should you want to? Isn’t it enough to have an on-call in-house legal department to answer service requests and deal with legal and compliance issues as they arise?
That’s a “once-upon-a-time” scenario, frankly. The complexities of risk are on a steady rise in modern enterprises, especially those that are in growth mode, or are made up of multiple business units, or have operations in multiple locations, often across borders.
The best remedy for risk or litigation? To prevent them in the first place, and that means ensuring processes are observant of legal best practices and compliant with regulatory mandates before the fact, not after damage has already been done.
Embedding legal & compliance best practices
The integration of enterprise legal management with process automation can make this proactive approach more viable than ever before. And that’s vital, because old-school ways of integrating in-house legal services with other operations only create inefficiency, risk, and actually deter collaboration.
Before SaaS process automation solutions became available, departments and business units relied on paper-based workflows or disparate, poorly-integrated software solutions.
So obtaining the legal department’s blessing of a project or process became a matter of submitting it to them for review. That created delays and, very often, costly backtracking to rework whatever hadn’t passed muster with “the lawyers.” Not to mention a fair amount of internal disaffection that held down collaboration and efficiency.
Brian McGovern made the advantages of this new paradigm clear in a webinar that laid out the merits of building a legal tech “ecosystem” to replace this old process model. A sound set of core legal tech systems allows you to create a “single source of truth” for your company and use workflow automation to extend legal and compliance best practices to everybody in the organization.
Rather than playing bureaucratic badminton with the legal department, an operating unit can now employ processes which already have legal and compliance best practices literally designed into them.
Integration that drives visibility
This frees the capabilities of an Enterprise Legal Management platform like TeamConnect from the confines of the legal department. Now it can deliver impact throughout the organization due to how a process automation solution like TAP Workflow Automation allows users in other disciplines and departments to leverage pre-vetted processes, or embed best practices while building their own workflows.
Meanwhile, legal and compliance leaders gain visibility into processes everywhere in the organization so they can mitigate risk and enforce best practices proactively. One of those is Greg Bennett, Manager of Legal Operations at Gilead Sciences. He’s found powerful potential synergies in the exchange of data between legal stack components and outside departments, made possible by how easily a solution like TAP integrates with different applications:
We see TAP enabling more data and information to be flowing between multiple applications…we can connect multiple organizations to Legal in order to get information in faster.
Better oversight of outside counsel (and spend)
Beyond other departments inside the organization, integration of a TeamConnect with a TAP permits legal and compliance best practices and governance to be extended to outside counsel, too. Outside counsel can be included in collaborative workflows, or can build their own workflows that unite the law firm, its corporate client, and other service providers in those collaborative “ecosystems” we’ve already mentioned, already being pioneered by partnerships like Keesal Propulsion Labs.
Better collaboration and improved outcomes can result from this. But another benefit? Outside counsel performance can be monitored and optimized via centralized dashboards featuring analytics-driven insights, and spend can be more closely managed, which is increasingly the order of the day for many GCs and CLOs. Integration of ELM with process automation, as in the case of TeamConnect and TAP, helps manage outside spend by both containing costs and ensuring you’re extracting maximum value for your money.
Only the beginning of the benefits
Digital transformation of the legal and compliance function within an organization can only be justified by showing significant ROI, whether it’s in greater efficiency, reduction in litigation and compliance penalties, or through other KPIs.
Just as standalone solutions, ELM and legal process automation can transform a legal department’s performance and show nearly instant ROI, turning it from “zero to hero” in amazingly rapid time. Yet by integrating the two, the entire operational landscape of a company can be transformed for the better, because legal and compliance best practices pervade its processes, the entire enterprise is set up for success.
We’ve just scraped the surface in this post, though. Take a look at the entire set of benefits of Teamconnect + TAP integration.