The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) recently released its 2021 Legal Technology Report for In-House Counsel. The 39-page report provides a wealth of information and insight about the critical pain points of in-house counsel and legal operations professionals and the types of solutions they see as most important. A paradox emerges from the report: matter management tools are widely perceived as strategically important, yet relatively few law departments have adopted such technology. Why?

The survey respondents – 250 in-house counsel and legal operations professionals in 18 countries – ranked matter management solutions as the second most strategically important category of technology. Only eDiscovery tools ranked higher. Lawyers surveyed rated matter management tools as the most helpful category of solution for achieving reduced costs.

Yet only 37% of law departments use matter management software. (The figure is even lower – 28% -- for organisations with between $100M - $499M in annual revenue.) The low adoption rates seem to reflect several pain points. First, the point solutions that law departments currently use cannot readily connect to each other. Second, and relatedly, users must become proficient in multiple user interfaces. Third, the challenges of supporting an array of point solutions leave IT teams stretched thin, with users experiencing a lack of support as a result.

Looking at these pain points collectively, it’s little wonder that the report found that “many respondents indicate[d] that they would rather have a single comprehensive and unified software platform, and this is true across legal roles.” Meanwhile, nearly half of law departments without matter management software are currently assessing such tools for purchase.

The bottom line is that law departments understand the benefits of matter management technology, and many are interested in such solutions, but they are hesitating because of issues around interoperability, ease of use, and the IT burden of adoption.

Based on the report’s findings, it is clear that an ideal solution, is one that integrates with existing point solutions, has a powerful yet simple interface, and is readily deployable and supportable. Those three considerations, it turns out, were central to how we designed our ELM platform:

Integration. Elevate’s ELM is a new platform built from the ground up. This means that in architecting it, we were not handcuffed by compatibility issues or constraints about how we encode and handle data. A central aspect of our ELM is its cross-platform, common data hub. This enables our ELM to use data from point solutions that cannot talk to each other because they were built on proprietary data structures. The result is that the Elevate ELM easily integrates with a wide variety of point solutions with siloed data. And because our ELM has a modular design, law organisations can mix and match any combination of the Elevate ELM modules with the point solutions they already have.

Ease of Use. The Elevate ELM user interface is intuitive and based on extensive customer research and user testing. It provides a simple interface featuring flexible charts and drop-down menus that allow users to zero in on the information they value most. Users find they can begin using our ELM after a brief introduction to its capabilities. It’s little wonder that our ELM’s UI and UX have been very well received by lawyers who appreciate its simplicity and “clean look”.

Ease of Adoption and Deployment. Finally, our common data hub and modular approach relieves the IT burden associated with adoption. There’s no need to figure out how to break data silos and bring together information from different systems – the Elevate cloud-based ELM eliminates those hurdles. Moreover, Elevate is unique in that, in addition to our technology solutions, we have deep expertise in change management. Our deep understanding of the challenges of technology adoption shaped the design of our ELM and means that we are able to assist customers in all stages of adoption, ensuring that dollars spent on new solutions result in the actual use of that technology to maximise tech spend ROI.

The best solutions directly address the pain points that trouble customers the most. We are gratified to know that in developing the Elevate ELM, we have done precisely that.