It would be difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to sufficiently argue that, up to this point, technology has been more bane than boon for the legal industry. For corporate legal departments, using software to track multiple matters being handled by numerous firms, budgeting and billing for those matters, and all of the documents and digital data surrounding them, has driven greater effectiveness and efficiency. The rise of robust reporting and analytics has created transparency into overall legal spend and informed better business decisions and department accountability. Yet, for all of its positive impact, the sheer volume of different solutions from different vendors, coupled with the time and expertise it takes to keep everything updated, integrated and compatible, has created significant hurdles to staying ahead of the curve. In fact, a 2015 Hyperion Research survey of general counsel and law department operations professionals found that fewer than a quarter believe their current vendors deliver either value or innovation.

The rise of enterprise legal management (ELM) platforms, while not the be-all, end-all answer, is a step in the right direction down this long and somewhat cyclical road.

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