Onit

Apr 7, 2015

Five Reasons Your Legal Department Needs an Enterprise App Today

Enterprise Apps are the nimble, simple-to-create, and quick-to-deploy cousins of the traditional enterprise legal management system. If you have not yet turned to enterprise apps to help you manage your legal department operations, here are five reasons to why your department needs to take a second look.

1. You are under the gun to do more work, with fewer resources.

There isn’t a legal department today that isn’t faced with this contradictory set of mandates. You are under pressure to reduce your outside counsel spend, work leaner and more efficiently, and eke more productivity out of your in-house team. An enterprise legal app can help you do just this. By focusing on process, these apps can help you gain visibility into the way your department works, find ways to make the processes more efficient, and free your people up to do more valuable work. Showing how this can be done, Onit client ZS Associates won the ACC Value Challenge in part by their implementation of technology to automate workflows, in particular for contracts. Read more about how ZS Associates facilitated changes in order to better meet corporate growth objectives.

2. Critical processes are currently being managed primarily through email and network folders.

If you are struggling under the weight of managing critical workflows through traditional enterprise legal management or other database systems, you’ll know how difficult it is to have real visibility into the legal processes taking place throughout your organization. This can be the case even if your department uses an enterprise legal management system for the “big” stuff like matter and spend data. These antiquated systems, while still useful, open your department up to undue risk and frustration when it comes to mission-critical processes. In one example, Onit helped a Fortune 500 client identify no fewer than 72 processes, across six internal groups and ten external vendors, which were being managed the old fashioned way. The solution was a suite of 50 enterprise apps that have since helped to process 20,000+ transactions in a transparent, defensible, and efficient way. Here are five quick telltale signs a process is ripe for a change.

3.  Enterprise Apps can bring new life to your existing ELM system.

Traditional enterprise legal management systems function as systems-of-record, a place where end data is stored. The primary function of an Enterprise App is to add a layer of engagement onto a system-of-record to make the processes happening around the data easier to manage and track. A system of record is only as good as the data included. Without a clear process for capturing and sharing data, the records in a database can quickly get outdated and even provide incorrect information. Enterprise Apps provide an easy-to-use front-end for your internal users while pushing back relevant data to the system-of-record already in place, all without major infrastructure changes. Read more about filling in the gaps by adding engagement to your enterprise software.

4.  Enterprise Apps address the primary problem you face, as a GC.

The day-to-day support activities that take too much time and pull your in-house team away from meaningful involvement in strategic priorities is a major issue for general counsel. With Gartner asserting about enterprise legal management, “It’s no longer just about matter and spend management,” it is important that GCs also involve themselves in business processes. The individual steps and tasks within workflows such as contract review and approval are largely untracked and invisible, which results in a much slower completion rate and less accountability along the way. Enterprise Apps bring these workflows out of the dark, bring accountability and visibility to the entire workflow, and allow for a quicker response time. All of these benefits mean that your in-house team is spending less time chasing “where” they are in a workflow, and leaves them more time to do the highly-skilled work that they are trained to do.

5.  You need a process solution, FAST.

You’ve identified your department’s workflow Achilles heel, yet you are afraid to start the long process of implementation that typically occurs with a traditional enterprise legal management system. Understandably so! It can take months, even years of development, testing, and training to roll out an enterprise software solution. In addition, the failure rate for enterprise systems is high because by the time the software is implemented your needs will have changed. You don’t have endless piles of cash due to your mandate to save money. Therefore, you don’t want to spend said money only to have that technology solution fail after a long implementation process. By contrast, Enterprise Apps are simple-to-create and are iterative by nature so they will evolve to meet your changing business needs. You can configure an Onit App in just 30-60 minutes at a fraction of the price of traditional ELM systems. In our Fortune 500 example above, the average development time for the 50 Enterprise Apps Onit created was 19 days.

 

To learn more about Enterprise Legal Apps, contact Onit today.

Onit is proud of the relationships we’ve built and the process improvement we’ve achieved with our valued customers. However, don’t take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say about Onit Enterprise Apps.

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