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Oct 4, 2021

Benchmarking Legal Tech Investment: The Role of Data in VMware’s Transformation Journey

As technology continues to advance, the data it generates has become increasingly important to the functioning of today’s corporate legal department. Data is central to prioritizing and justifying investment in technology at companies of all sizes.

For our customers, Onit functions as their department’s “central nervous system,” driving the collection and presentation of that data. To help explain just how important data is to companies today, Onit recently hosted a webinar with executives of HBR Consulting and VMware to discuss trends in the legal space and how data played a critical role in VMware’s successful legal tech transformation journey.

The HBR Survey

The most recent HBR Law Department Survey focused on the technology investments law departments are currently making and plan to make going forward, looking at areas like staffing, spending, process, technology, and compensation.

The survey results show that 2.1% of the internal budget across all participants was allocated to technology, a very slight increase from the previous survey. The top three areas where companies are currently implementing technology are e-billing, legal hold, and matter management, whereas AI, a previous hot technology, is now being considered as something to implement down the road. E-signature technology saw the biggest increase in implementation due to law departments’ need to figure out how to deal with a remote workforce. While AI has taken a bit of a downshift in terms of priority, it’s expected to pick back up in the years to come.

The survey highlights the importance of not just the amount of money that departments are spending, but of what actual technology categories those companies are spending money in and prioritizing.

VMware’s Journey

Digital transformation is sweeping the legal sphere, but every company’s journey looks a little different depending on what their priorities are. For VMware, the mission was to transform and scale legal services to accelerate the company’s growth and simplify the customer experience.

VMware resisted the temptation to simply turn to the latest tools on the market, and instead took a step back first and figured out what business problems they were trying to solve and what the best path to solving them was. As VMware will tell you, transformation is not something that can be rushed.

First, you need to analyze your challenges and establish your baseline metrics. Next, you need to simplify your infrastructure and workflows to resolve process problems that can’t be treated with a quick technology fix. Only after both of these steps should you start to implement technology.

Data plays a huge role in making the journey a successful one. While the technology you choose matters, it should also be viewed as an enabler to get information and benchmarking data. You always need to understand the baseline metrics of the problems you’re trying to solve.

Despite their success, VMware will be the first to admit that you should expect to see failures and mistakes along the journey. Relying on data will allow you to measure the impacts your changes are having on the business and whether you’re meeting the necessary benchmarks that will drive adoption and value.

VMware’s successful transformation involved a number of pieces. Among other things, they created an enterprise contract repository that served as a single source of truth for the organization. They also automated their core contracts that generated the most revenue.

Perhaps most importantly, though, VMware took a platform approach, using the Onit platform, Apptitude, to consolidate all matters in a single place. Within that platform, VMware was able to leverage Onit dashboards to drive proactive strategic decisions and monitor both risks and trends. They also created a self-service NDA portal that allowed for nimble and agile processes, real-time visibility, and a reduction in time, cost, and errors in the NDA process.

Ultimately, the reason VMware chose to double down on Onit is because they truly believe that platform solutions, rather than single point solutions, are the future. When you can take advantage of AI that’s embedded in a platform, you can amass data in one place, rather than implementing and justifying more and more disparate solutions. Onit’s platform also gave VMware confidence that they were adequately handling all their privacy and security concerns.

At the end of the day, VMware’s success depended on investing in a change management strategy that aligned its transformation with its business priorities. Success depended on defining metrics up front and establishing baseline benchmark metrics. Data was pivotal to it all.

These are just a few highlights from the discussion. You can listen to the entire webinar here.

For more information on how Onit can help with your transformation journey, contact us today and schedule a demo.

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