The Enterprise Legal Reputation (ELR) Report also finds Legal can directly contribute to the growth of its businesses by increasing revenue and improving sales negotiations with greater automation — powered by the combination of AI and Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM).
Onit, the leading provider of enterprise workflow solutions including enterprise legal management and contract lifecycle management, released chapter two of its Enterprise Legal Reputation (ELR) Report, a multinational study spotlighting the image enterprise employees have of their legal departments, the way legal professionals see their interactions with internal clients, and the material impact Legal can have on its businesses — from revenue generation and operational efficiency to innovation and corporate culture.
In January, Onit commissioned Provoke Insights, a New York City-based market research firm, to conduct a study of 4,000 enterprise employees and 500 corporate legal professionals across the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. The study helps corporate legal departments understand their brand image through the eyes of their internal clients so they can improve working relationships, accelerate legal workflows and more effectively impact topline revenue and operational efficiency.
While chapter one of the ELR Report revealed that 65% of enterprise employees have knowingly bypassed legal policies on occasion, the findings in chapter two uncover the massive potential Legal has to shed its lingering perception as a back-office function and establish greater rapport throughout its businesses. The biggest opportunity to impact revenue generation relies on a strong link to Sales, as nearly seven in 10 (68%) legal respondents believe they help Sales effectively close deals and generate revenue.
Given the amount of time Legal spends on contracts — globally, 40% of legal professionals acknowledge spending four to five hours a day reviewing and managing contracts — nearly half (44%) believe improving the execution and efficiency of contracting will positively affect the speed of deal cycles and deal closure.
The legal department, for the most part, feels an urgent need for modernization with 47% of respondents saying their technology is insufficient and 46% admitting it’s outdated. Automated, AI-driven contract lifecycle management (CLM) is a major opportunity for legal departments to support the speed and growth of their business.
Despite the broad desire to streamline inefficiencies, the study finds various roadblocks preventing improvement. Nearly half (44%) of legal professionals admit their department is averse to change, 39% blame a lack of budget and 25% say they simply do not have time to learn new technology. Perhaps most surprising, and simultaneously concerning, two-thirds (67%) feel executives are unsupportive of Legal’s modernization, even if it means providing better client service and customer experience.
“As the ELR Report reveals, Legal has the golden opportunity to improve operational and cost efficiency while simultaneously influencing faster revenue generation and business growth,” said Brad Rogers, Onit’s senior vice president of strategy & growth and a previous leader of transformation in a large global law department and at other enterprise companies. “Legal can connect more deeply and materially across an enterprise organization, making its role as a protector of the business even more meaningful. Simply put, Legal can be a transformational agent in creating both productive and impactful corporate cultures while simultaneously driving business results.”
Other key findings that magnify Legal’s opportunity to positively influence functions across the enterprise include:
- More than three in five (61%) corporate legal professionals believe they positively impact their businesses’ abilities to innovate and differentiate competitively by supporting and protecting company patents and intellectual property (IP).
- Legal is taking a more active role in influencing corporate culture with 38% in the United Kingdom, 35% in Germany, 26% in France and 22% in the United States prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for their departments.
- Half of legal respondents (52%) report they are prioritizing vendor diversity, a greater emphasis than their own companies’ attention to diverse hiring initiatives.
Read the ELR Report to learn more about how legal professionals view their relationships with internal clients in comparison to the image enterprise employees have of their legal departments.
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Onit is a global leader in artificial intelligence platforms and enterprise workflow solutions for legal, compliance, sales, IT, HR and finance departments. With Onit, companies can transform best practices into smarter workflows, better processes and operational efficiencies. With a focus on enterprise legal management, matter management, spend management, contract lifecycle management and legal holds, the company operates globally and helps transform the way Fortune 500 companies and billion-dollar corporate legal departments bridge the gap between systems of record and systems of engagement. Onit helps customers find gains in efficiency, reduce costs and automate transactions faster.