How to develop a technology roadmap for in-house legal operations

Aug 7, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The 2023 In-house Legal Technology Report reveals that a mere 18 percent of respondents use the full functionality of their e-billing system and only 55 percent use the full functionality of their contract management system.

This means many of those legal teams that have invested in technology aren’t benefiting from the tools they’re paying for and it’s likely their legal technology is misaligned with their strategic objectives.

We’re confident that with the right approach – a technology roadmap – your legal operations can avoid this. How, you might ask. Let us show you.

What is a legal technology roadmap?

Deciding on what technology to invest in should be done in a well-considered and methodical manner so that your investment is not only impactful today but in the future. Helping you identify those considerations so you can make a well-informed decision is where a technology roadmap comes into play.

A technology roadmap is simply a plan that formally documents your needs: how legal currently operates, how you would like to operate, and what business goals you want to achieve.

Not only does it ensure you’re making the best long-term decisions, those best aligned with your operational goals, it also helps to build legal’s business case, further illustrating the role of the legal function as a business enabler as opposed to a cost center.

Before embarking on the journey of investing in legal tech, or revamping how your legal function embraces it, we encourage you to hit pause momentarily. But don’t worry, we’re not done yet!

Learn more about the value of creating a technology roadmap for your in-house legal operations.
Click here to learn more

The value of creating a technology roadmap for your in-house legal operations

Now you know what a technology roadmap is, let’s consider the value piece. Simply put, the value of developing a technology roadmap is that it helps to mitigate the selection and implementation of the wrong type of product. It also ensures that the product you choose to implement is aligned not only with your current goals but future ones as well.

Implementing the wrong type of solution can be costly and time-consuming for your legal operations, and can lead to frustrating workflow inefficiencies or, even worse, legal waste. Which means it’s hugely important to give yourself the best possible chance of implementing the right tool. Therein lies the value of a legal technology roadmap.

Additionally, taking the time to sit down and develop a roadmap is likely to be one of the first times your legal team has had the opportunity to break away from their busy schedules and make a wide-ranging assessment of what they need. And if they are on target to meet their goals, the insights gleaned from this process will be even richer if you are already working in a legal workspace.

What a legal technology roadmap should contain

A technology roadmap will look different for each legal function as it will be based on the needs and objectives of the team and the wider business, the tech maturity, and the business type. To get you started, we’ve compiled a few components that The Connected Legal Certification considers fundamental to high-quality technology roadmaps:

  • review your current business processes and identify areas of inefficiency and ineffectiveness
  • what are your immediate needs and future goals
  • how do your needs and goals align with the objectives of your business
  • what tools and information do you think will help your team become more productive, proactive, and insightful
  • what tools do you think will help your team to be better connected with the business and deliver a better legal service
  • what technology are you using currently; are you using its full functionality or are there gaps with your immediate needs and future goals
  • research the options and measure the costs
  • establish a timeline
  • create a project team
  • implement
  • keep your roadmap updated
  • gather data to measure your expected outcomes against actual

So, whether you’re just starting to think about legal tech, or you’ve already spent time window shopping, we suggest allocating some time to developing your technology roadmap. Using the elements above will help enable you to understand not only what type of technology you could implement – like a legal workspace – but importantly it will also enable you to understand where your legal team is heading and how best to get there.

Keen to learn more?

Join the many other legal professionals who are already learning about the great benefits of Developing a Technology Roadmap and utilizing the free downloadable template as part of the Connected Legal Certification. The best part is that it’s all on-demand, and you can gain CDP/CLE points in doing so.
Click here to get certified

Recent News & Articles