Legal departments still reluctant to embrace new tech, despite benefits: ACC report

Information governance and data management are top priorities for legal teams

Legal departments still reluctant to embrace new tech, despite benefits: ACC report

While tech digitization is having a profound impact on the legal industry, a majority of legal professionals say they are falling behind when it comes to implementing crucial transformation initiatives. This is one of the key findings from a new legal transformation survey report by The Association of Corporate Counsel and DISCO – a provider of AI-enabled legal technology.

Legal departments that prioritized adopting technologies for improving internal investigations are benefitting from improved productivity, mitigation of privacy and security risks, reduced costs, and better chances of favorable litigation outcomes, the report found. However, even with these clear technology-driven benefits, survey findings showed that 70 percent of legal departments have not prioritized adopting technologies for improving key automation and data management processes.

The 2022 Trends in Legal Transformation and Technology Report captures analysis from over 270 law department leaders and legal operations professionals, and derives insights into the current state of technology adoption and innovation.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • Information governance and data management are top transformation initiatives departments are investing in today – 65% of departments reported these as the most important
  • Departments are split on tech-related decision making – 45% of legal professionals feel their departments are not prioritizing technology-rated decisions like they need to be doing
  • Budgeting concerns have become one of the main barriers to transformation – Among departments that have prioritized transformational change, 35% indicate that rising costs and lack of budget is a primary concern, with the number quickly rising.
  • Talent and technology interoperability are keys to success – 76% percent said that getting the right mix of talent is the most important area for departments to serve the growing demands of the business.

The report uncovers findings on how legal professionals are integrating new technologies into their day-to-day work, including data analytics tools, reporting software, information governance, automation, ediscovery, and legal project management initiatives.

“Over the last couple years, legal departments have had to deal with numerous pressures impacting both the scope of work and how they are meeting these additional demands,” said Blake Garcia, senior director of business intelligence at ACC. “It’s no secret that technology is playing a key role for many professionals, and this report takes that idea a step further by providing specific insights into how tech is being leveraged and deployed, its keys to success, and which specific adoption challenges remain.”

While organizations and legal departments have made strides in their digital transformation efforts, the results indicate there is still significant room for improving internal processes and investigative outcomes.

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