How Platform Technologies Enable Enterprise Collaboration For Corporate Legal Departments
Rob Johnson explains how collaboration for corporate legal departments is possible through "platforms" technologies
The role of legal departments in many organizations has shifted significantly in recent years. In the past, legal functioned almost as a black box with little to no interaction with the rest of the company.
Today’s legal department looks very different. Cross-collaboration is the name of the game. Corporate legal departments now regularly find themselves working with all departments across the organization with a high transparency level. In conjunction with this new collaborative approach, legal departments are expected to provide increased service levels and demonstrate value to the business.
Platform technologies are making it all possible. A platform approach has replaced stand-alone software and solutions at many organizations, primarily due to platforms’ superior ability to connect legal with other departments and streamline processes across the organization.
What Is a Platform?
In a market that’s highly saturated with many types of technology products, the term “platform” is often both overused and underrepresented. Many technology companies use words like platform and solution interchangeably, even though these technologies function in different ways and serve other purposes.
A solution serves a single purpose and exists to handle a discrete task, which can be simple or complex. A platform, in contrast, is a robust technology foundation that addresses multiple scenarios. At its core, a platform is an environment where other software functions and is executed.
Platforms are where you host your solutions, and they can be quickly rolled out across multiple facilities to support cross-functional activities between departments. With a platform, you can leverage preexisting solutions or build new, configurable, specialized solutions as needed.
The Benefits of a Platform Approach
A platform approach to technology opens the doors to a whole host of benefits for your legal department. Some of the biggest include:
● Unlimited solutions. Platforms provide legal departments with limitless building opportunities, making it possible to achieve all its goals. A platform can be used to build solutions to address virtually any legal or business need.
● Scalability. Platforms also provide unlimited scalability. This means your technology can grow and adapt as your department or organization expands and changes, allowing you to right-size technology as needed.
● Customization. When you build your solutions on a platform, you can customize them to work precisely how your legal department needs them to work to meet your unique demands. You can continue to tailor those solutions if new challenges or issues come up.
● Flexibility. If the last year has taught us anything, we need to make changes with little notice. Platforms allow that flexibility and allow your legal department to innovate for the future whenever new needs arise.
● Self-service. Perhaps most convenient, platforms provide benefits regardless of your level of technical proficiency. While platforms were once accessible only to IT experts who knew how to code, today’s platforms are largely no-code, meaning that even those with little or no technical training can use them to build and deploy robust solutions.
How to Pick the Right Platform
While using platforms requires no technical expertise, building platforms is another story. Legal departments typically lack the resources to build the platforms they need independently and instead partner with specialist platform providers to secure the right technology to meet their needs. There are a few essential considerations to keep in mind when comparing platforms and choosing your provider.
First, your platform should bring value to your entire enterprise, allowing you to create solutions that meet the legal department's day-to-day needs and support collaboration with departments within the organization. From a technical standpoint, you should look for a no-code platform that bridges the gap between business and technical users, allowing anyone to use it to build apps and solutions. The platform should also continually release updates, so you’re always incorporating the most current security measures in your work.
You should also consider choosing a platform that incorporates the power of automation and AI. When you use an AI-powered platform to automate mundane, manual and costly legal processes, you empower continuous learning and workflow, making the platform and its solutions better able to adjust to or even predict necessary changes in the future.
In addition to integrating with other systems, it should also include robust business intelligence and analytics tools that empower you to glean insights from your data. Legal departments today have more data than ever before. Technology should allow you to use that data to make informed legal and business decisions that bring value to the organization. As a bonus, your platform provider should have a top-notch partner network that you can access for whatever help you need with technology, implementation, or services to maximize your investment.
The Future Is Platform
Platforms allow you to achieve seamless workflows and functionality within the corporate legal department while also addressing the reality that legal departments can no longer function as stand-alone entities. Platform technology allows for cross-collaboration among all departments of an enterprise, addressing such critical issues as business continuity, conflicts of interest, data privacy, and more.
With the right platform, you’ll set your legal department on the path to better cross-collaboration and long-term growth for the entire organization.
To learn more about how no-code platforms are transforming the legal industry, explore this white paper.