I recently joined 400 people from the legal fraternity at the CLOC 2019 London Institute, to take part in a great discussion about the future of the law, lawyers, legal operations and the big role technology is playing in transforming all these. The event reminded me once again what an exciting space corporate counsel and legal operations is right now.
When I joined Icertis in July 2018 as Chief Evangelist, I made a significant change in my professional path. I expected to share my own story as General Counsel and the challenges of modernizing and digitizing my legal department. But in the last six months I have done more than share and speak at events and conferences. I have learned that a massive transformation is underway and the interest in managing information with technology–and enterprise contract management solutions in particular–is very high.
There are several reasons for that:
- The pressure to do more with less
- Budget constraints
- The rise of the millennial worker for whom technology tools are second nature
- The increasing global ambitions and reach of businesses
- The need to manage legal teams globally and
- The increasing demands of regulators around the world for information and risk management
These factors are driving GCs and their legal operations to scout for solutions that can help corporate counsel optimize the contracting process from contract creation to storage to managing obligations and eventually using contracts as a strategic asset.
As I met and spoke to corporate counsel at conferences like CLOC, I noted differences in the pace of adoption and readiness to move to technology solutions for contract management. There are those who currently use little technology beyond email and Microsoft Word, those who are exploring digitization of parts of the contracting process (authoring, storage, template creation, clause libraries and managing obligations to name a few key use cases), and those who have adopted the current offerings and are pushing tech companies to the next frontier: artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), blockchain, etc.
Yet wherever they are in their journey, they all share and recognize the same reality: As they look around the C-suite, every other function—Finance, IT, HR, Sales—is using digitization and technology to gain real-time data and visibility, which gives them a seat at the table in business-critical decision making. It’s clear that the legal industry needs to find effective technology that provides them deeper insights into key performance indicators to hold influence with their boards. In my next blog, I will explore further how leading analysts recommend legal teams approach contract management, and why Icertis is a recognized leader in the industry.
2019 will undoubtedly see even more GCs embark on digital transformation journeys. Since the written word was invented and humanity drafted its first contract, there has been no greater advancement in the world of contracting than our ability to store, access and search every kind of data–sliced and diced in real time to gain extremely valuable insights.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact Icertis today.