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Business innovation is essential to reinvigorate any company’s engine for growth. When a business successfully innovates, it creates new ways of doing things, new solutions to customers’ problems, new approaches to hiring and retaining employees, and new strategies for enhancing profitability.
Of course, true innovation that significantly moves the needle is rarely incremental in nature. “Innovation must be disruptive,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive of Starbucks, in a recent MasterClass. “And by disruptive, I mean disruptive. You gotta fracture and break the rules and disrupt.”
There are multiple ways that innovation takes shape, such as a rethink of your revenue model, exploration of new markets or industries, and development of new products or services. But another key model for business innovation centers around a company’s existing business processes and systems.
“Process innovation is probably the least sexy form of innovation,” according to the Differential blog. “Process is the combination of facilities, skills and technologies used to support a product or provide a service. While product innovation is often visible to your customers, a change in process is typically only seen and valued internally.”
Corporate legal departments have become increasingly welcoming of innovation in their business processes as a way to manage costs and do more with less. The primary driver of these innovations has been the introduction of new legal technologies.
After resisting disruptive changes for quite a while, today’s in-house legal teams are learning that identifying, implementing and adopting the right technology solutions will pay back exponential cost savings while delivering increased efficiencies into your workflow. One survey by Alvarez & Marsal found that 44% of corporate legal teams increased their use of technology in 2021.
The good news for corporate legal departments seeking to improve their business processes is that legal technology innovation continues at a rapid pace. Today’s in-house counsel can leverage the results of this innovation to drive their own innovation strategies that can deliver significant gains in efficiencies. At the leading edge of these promising new legal technologies are automation tools.
“As we head into 2022, the automation space will see the emergence of more converged patterns of work, with data, content, workflow, collaboration and conversations enabled by process mining and process monitoring capabilities,” said Vinaykumar Mummigatti, chief automation officer at LexisNexis, in an article published by LegalTech News. “This trend is often described as ‘hyperautomation’ — a convergence of low-code automation tools in a platform architecture to automate all patterns of work involved in a process.”
In fact, Forbes named "increased workplace automation" as one of the dominant tech trends of 2022 as these tech tools are likely to “help businesses fill gaps created by the labor shortage while optimizing staff.”
An example of how corporate legal professionals can embrace legal tech innovation to achieve greater efficiencies with their internal processes is to leverage collaboration tools. Group chats, shared files, and virtual meetings are the are key to helping a team be more productive and collaborative. These tools make relationship building possible while working remote. Another tool that integrates business software with legal workflow is Lexis for Microsoft Office.
Lexis for Microsoft Office is an end-to-end legal drafting solution that works anywhere, on any device used by your department. The concept behind it was to help corporate legal professionals avoid the distraction of toggling back and forth between different drafting tools, resources and email messages. It is the only drafting solution on the legal market that was designed in partnership with Microsoft to seamlessly integrate with Outlook, Word and Office 365.
The solution is innovative and yet simple. When you open an Outlook email or a Word document containing legal, business or transaction-related information, a LexisNexis tab automatically displays. Click that tab and a diverse collection of legal drafting tools is at your fingertips, giving you immediate access to the vast universe of LexisNexis content without ever leaving the application in which you are working.
LexisNexis has created a free library on YouTube that contains a variety of short informational videos to help you learn more about Lexis for Microsoft Office and how this innovative legal technology can drive efficiency gains in your corporate legal department workflow.
Business process innovation may not be the most exciting model for achieving meaningful improvements in corporate performance, but for many corporate legal departments it is an essential strategy to contain costs and do more with less in 2022. Consider how legal tech tools such as Lexis for Microsoft Office can help you manage the demands of today and anticipate the challenges of tomorrow.