Top five barriers to legal department modernization

The last phase of enterprise transformation

As the final frontier of operational and digital transformation for many organizations, legal modernization is gaining momentum. But it also faces serious barriers that are likely to make significant demands on legal operations executives, their departments, and the broader organizations they serve.

Legal digital transformation: Taming the final frontier of enterprise modernization

Many organizations are making strides toward legal department modernization for improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and alignment with business strategy. Deloitte’s recent in-depth, one-on-one interviews with legal executives have revealed that the legal department is recognized as one of the last areas of the enterprise to undergo operational and digital transformation and that the importance of catching up with other areas, such as finance, HR, supply chain, and IT, is generally acknowledged and needed.

Taking legal department modernization to the next level

Five barriers to legal department modernization

From our interviews with legal executives, a clear picture emerged about challenges they face in carrying out modernization efforts. In particular, these five barriers to legal transformation stood out:

Barriers in legal operations often overlap and are interdependent

Individually, the five barriers to legal transformation described above can be daunting and disruptive. Combined, they would almost certainly prevent a legal department from making tangible, sustainable progress toward modernization goals.

Ironically, clues about how to tear down these barriers and organize a cohesive modernization effort typically reside within the legal department. These clues often reveal connections and interdependencies between the barriers.

The data that is available through legal operations can offer insights on how to provide the right legal resources at the right time; demonstrate that work is being done by the right roles most cost-effectively; increase productivity and speed; and help show that high-quality legal work aligns with business strategy and risk appetite. With such data, the legal department can begin to position itself as better partner to the business and, in the process, prove the case for legal digital transformation modernization.

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