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Your Legacy System Hinders Your Development

by iamameliazoe
Your Legacy System Hinders Your Development

You sit down at the end of a hard week to search for a great movie. Netflix takes five minutes to start up. After that, Netflix won’t let you preview any film, so you must switch to YouTube and manually search the titles. You find the movie you like and go to Netflix to check if it is available. You can start the movie an hour later. It sounds terrible. If legacy systems are still in use in your legal department, this is what your team will deal with every day. In legal departments, legacy systems are standard. They are an outdated technology that is still essential for day-to-day operations. You may assume your current setup is okay and that you don’t need to change it. But, in reality, these outdated systems are holding back your department.

Legacy Systems are more expensive than you think

Many legal departments will claim that they don’t have enough money to upgrade their technology. However, maintaining outdated systems is more expensive than modern ones.

The U.S. Federal Government spent 88% of its IT budget in 2019 on operations and maintenance. It is not a problem that’s unique to the government. According to a survey, chief information officers (CIOs) spend 40-60% of their time managing legacy IT. Sticking with legacy systems is like asking Netflix for DVDs and paying maintenance on an old DVD player.

Your department is also exposed to more significant security risks if it uses old fashioned systems. Is it worth the risk of data breaches that could lead to costly lawsuits?

How costly maintenance holds you back

A large portion of your budget should be used for maintenance. However, the negative consequences can also multiply over time.

Avoiding digital transformation makes you less competitive in your industry. You won’t be able to innovate if you spend more than half of your budget on maintenance. Outside firms won’t work with outdated, clunky systems. You could lose out on essential partnerships and revenue if your tech becomes more challenging to use.

Your risk is also increased by a system that is tightly coupled. It is because general counsel is now responsible for data breaches and threats. Unsecured settings force general counsel to focus more on responding to breaches and risk assessment than other duties – significantly when these duties have increased for business-minded GCs.

Expensive tech frustrates your employees

Globally, 75% of employees believe that workplace technology is too complicated. Worse, more than a third of these employees feel that legacy technology makes it harder to do their jobs.

While workplace technology was once cutting-edge, it is now more intuitive for consumers. Wouldn’t it be great to see documents in the same way you can on Netflix? Your employees would, too. 48% of employees would like their office technology to be just like their personal technology.

High learning curves can lead to low user adoption rates. Employees either don’t use or aren’t able to use tools efficiently. Legacy systems can be challenging to use, and your team will need more training to understand the basics. It is both aggravating for the trainers and time-consuming. Training is not something people want to do. They want technology that is simple to use and simplifies their jobs.

How frustrated employees can hold you back

Relying on outdated systems can slow down your team and impact their morale. Unhappy employees not only affect the mood in the office but also impact retention and productivity.

Happier, more engaged employees have a 21% increase in productivity and a 45% decrease in turnover. Variable turnover costs can add up to thousands, if not millions of dollars per year. Turnover and productivity losses are not usually included in your IT budget. Your IT budget will not be beneficial if outdated technology is causing frustration in your team.

Simple legal is updated legal enterprise software that your employees will be familiar with it. It includes features like category tags and full-text search. Simple legal believes that users should be capable of using 80% of the platform with no training.

Disjointed systems limit your access to valuable data

Finance and accounting departments often require legal departments to justify and explain spend. It will be challenging to present your case if your data is scattered across multiple systems or in complicated spreadsheets.

Nearly 20% of workers spend their workweek looking for and collecting data. Your legacy system may force your team to switch between multiple applications to gather information. As a result, it could lead to even more significant time wastage.

Your employees must organize the data once they have it. Data wrangling, which is the process of gathering and preparing data, can take up to half a data scientist’s time. It is incredible how long it takes for a legal ops professional to specialize in data wrangling.

What Data Access is Holding You Back

Without easy data access, you can’t be data-driven. So access to data, documents, and reports is essential to have a complete view of your spending.

One legal matter can involve hundreds, if not thousands, of documents. If your team is unable to locate the information they need quickly, productivity will plummet.

Although reporting shouldn’t seem like rocket science, legacy systems can make gathering and interpreting data difficult. For example, let’s suppose finance needs a list of outside counsel spending. You might need to format the data if you have an old setup manually. The process can take several hours depending on how many vendors you work with and what detailed finance is required.

Modern systems can automate data collection and use business intelligence to place it in a context. It’s like walking through a video shop and manually compiling movie descriptions. Or simply sending someone a link on YouTube.

Legacy Systems Make It Harder to Spend Your Time on Low-Value Jobs

Antiquated systems can lead to high-paid employees being overwhelmed with administrative tasks. In addition, many of the time-saving options that your team can use to save time and avoid mundane admin tasks are not available in legacy systems.

For example, automation can replace manual data entry. Integrations enable you to connect different systems to reduce the back-and-forth between them. Unfortunately, legacy systems are not able to support integration and automation. As a result, your highly skilled employees often spend their time doing low-value tasks that an upgraded system could handle.

Additionally, important information, such as conversations and documents, can be lost or delayed if systems aren’t connected. Many legal departments still use email to manage their invoicing. Multiple parties usually sign off invoices. As a result, it is easy for invoices to get lost in an inbox or forgotten entirely.

What Can Admin Work Do to You?

Your legal ops manager probably wasn’t hired for their incredible data-entry skills. If you rely on legacy systems, a lot of your team’s time will be spent inputting data and doing other low-value work.

Ninety percent (90%) of businesses use technology to automate their processes. If you aren’t automating, then you are already behind. You will also be slower if you don’t have integrations. You will also experience a 40% productivity loss due to task switching. It can also “temporarily lower” your IQ by as much as 15 points.

It’s time to upgrade your legal technology

It would be absurd to spend an hour switching between four different programs to watch a film. This level of inefficiency should not be a problem for your legal department.

Don’t waste time or money on outdated systems for your legal department. Upgraded legal enterprise software will make you more competitive, engage your employees better, and allow you to have greater control over your budget.

Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in this article are the authors Andrew Napolitano.

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