Blog | Legal Ops

Your Guide To Choosing The Right Tech And Getting Yourself Tech-Ready

November 27, 2023
decorative linedecorative line

Legal’s spending on legal tech is expected to triple by 2025 as legal teams strive for increased efficiency and data-driven operations. However, the implementation of legal tech projects has been largely unsuccessful, with 77% of teams experiencing failures.

This can be attributed to two main factors:

  1. Choosing the wrong technology
  2. Not being adequately prepared to implement it effectively (or “tech ready”)

In this guide, we’ll cover why this matters, along with TLB’s top tips to get these things right and guarantee the success of your legal tech implementation.

Why does this matter?

Ranging from $20k a year for a 1-3 person Legal team to 6-figure sums for enterprise organisations, legal tech is not cheap.

And that’s just the tech itself. On top of tech costs, you’re faced with:

  • Implementation and set-up fees: fees charged by the vendor or an expert third party to set up the tool and implement it within your systems.
  • Project costs: the cost of having a number of members of staff - Legal or otherwise - tied up in a 6-18 month project, depending on the size of your organisation. Not to mention the time and opportunity costs of team members being unable to work on other projects while they focus on implementing the tool.

All of this is to say that the costs of getting implementation wrong are significant.

And yet, 77% of these projects fail, wasting millions of dollars each year.

Investing the time and effort in (a) choosing the right tech and (b) being tech ready matter for this very reason, to avoid wasting significant amounts of time and money later down the line on a failed implementation.

How to choose the right tech

So, the first step is to choose the right tech.

But with over 400 legal tech tools on the market with diverse feature sets, making the right decision can be challenging.

The overwhelming amount of choice often leads to cognitive overload, resulting in either:

  • the inability to make a decision, or
  • unstructured decision making - such as taking demos with vendors you’ve heard of or who have called you the most.

This unstructured approach invariably leads to a tool which isn’t fit for your organisation, setting the project up for failure from the off.

At TLB, we’ve developed a dedicated legal tech selection methodology. Drawing on learnings from the tech procurement process developed and honed by Procurement teams over many years, this methodology has been specifically designed to procure legal tech - which, as is usually the case with all things legal, has a flavour of its own.

Here’s how you approach it:

  1. Define your problems and business objectives. Clearly define and articulate the problem you’re trying to solve. This is your north star for the project!
  2. Identify stakeholders. Identify who you need to speak to to find out more about this problem. It may be people currently impacted by the problem or senior management in those teams whose buy-in you need.
  3. Gather requirements. Speak to these stakeholders and gather their requirements through interviews, focus groups and surveys.
  4. Prioritise requirements. Bearing your problem in mind, prioritise these requirements into must-haves and nice-to-haves.
  5. RFP + demos. Issue an RFP to targeted vendors based on your requirements. To help you decide who to send your RFP to, you can use TLB’s extensive legal tech directory, with over 400 vendors, filterable by feature set. Just contact us for more details.
  6. Award. After demoing a select few, you can move to the award stage, safe in the knowledge that you’re choosing the right vendor for your organisation.

Adopting this methodology, you’ll find the vendor which is best suited to your organisation’s requirements and maximise your chances of a successful implementation!

How to get ‘tech ready’

But choosing the right tech is just half the battle. To give that technology the best chance of being successful, you need to address ‘tech readiness’.

‘Tech readiness’ refers to all of the non-tech activities which you need to undertake to set your tech up for success.  This is necessary because legal tech is not ‘plug and play’. It requires setting up and configuration to suit your needs and, conversely, requires the artefacts you choose to put into the tool to be optimised for and configured to suit the tool you’ve selected.

Here’s what you should be thinking about:

  1. Templates. Streamline, standardise and optimise your templates for automation by removing unnecessary optionality.
  2. Playbooks. Create playbooks to leverage the benefits of playbook functionality within your chosen tool, reduce risk and enhance negotiation efficiency.
  3. Workflows. Map your existing workflows, identify pain points, and reconfigure your processes to align with your chosen call.
  4. Legacy contracts. Locate them, upload them and extract the right metadata.
  5. Data and reporting. Decide what MI you want to provide and the necessary data points you need to gather to provide that.
  6. Project plan. Have a clear, documented plan setting out all of your use cases and how they’ll be delivered, communicating that to stakeholders.
  7. Project team. Assemble a killer cross-functional project team, along with supplier support, to give your project what it needs to succeed.

At TLB, we run rigorous tech readiness programmes to get our clients ready to implement tech. Whether that be targeted support in template and workflow design or playbook creation or end-to-end project planning and implementation support, we support clients with all of their tech readiness needs.

share to