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Legal Departments unprepared for digitization?

Across companies, departments follow significantly different approaches in adopting new technology.

A recent Gartner study found that legal departments have been slow in embracing and adopting (legal) technology. The study revealed that 81% of legal departments are unprepared for digitalization. We explore the study in detail to find out why adoption has been slow and what can be done to speed things up.

According to recent figures released by Gartner, only 20% of legal departments are prepared to support their organizations’ digital initiatives. In a detailed study, Gartner reviewed legal departments’ roles in 1,715 digital business projects, including interviews or surveys with over 100 general counsel and privacy officers, and surveyed more than 100 legal stakeholders at large companies.

The results were stunning (but not entirely surprising): Only very few legal departments have developed a comprehensive framework for digitalization. This is despite increasing pressure and demands from the business side: 87% of senior business leaders surveyed said digitalization is a company priority. Most general counsel participating in the study were concerned that existing legal and compliance practices are incompatible with the speed at which digital business operates.

Digitization challenges and recommendations

According to Gartner, the key challenges for legal departments are:

  1. Faster and less centralized decision making: This exerts extreme pressure on traditional legal and compliance controls and risk management practices.
  2. Changing sources of corporate value: Data rights, customer trust and networks are increasingly valuable assets that need legal safeguards.
  3. A reliance on customers’ trust and data: This demands new models of information governance.

Gartner suggests the following key changes for legal departments to get “digital-ready”:

  1. Build rapid-response capabilities: Legal departments need to build self-service capabilities and tools respond quickly and at scale to legal inquiries.
  2. Develop digital skills: Legal departments need to mentally shift away from traditional legal duties toward a digital delivery approach that focuses on needs-based skill identification and on-the-job expertise transfer.
  3. Clarify stakeholder roles: Legal departments should clarify roles and decision rights and remove unnecessary points of involvement to streamline implementation and decision-making.
  4. Design “fit for business” information governance: Only very few legal departments have created agile, authoritative and consistent innovation models.

Digital-ready legal departments can have a massive impact on overall digital transformation efforts within a business. According to Gartner, when supporting digital projects, digital-ready legal departments can increase appropriate legal and compliance risk-taking by 46% while increasing digital projects delivered on time by 63%.

BRYTER offers a comprehensive solution to build “rapid-response” and “self-service” applications for legal departments in a no-code environment. Our platform enables legal departments to build automation tools for knowledge transfer, decision-making, and rapid self-support apps, without IT support or coding knowledge.

Our no-code build platform can be used for all legal decisions, processes, and workflows. Being able to grow and expand digital capabilities without involving IT gives legal departments the freedom to independently and autonomously develop their digital toolset.

A digital toolset built with BRYTER can help legal departments expand their digital reach within their organizations.