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The Importance of Periodic Evaluation of Legal IT

The Importance of Periodic Evaluation of Legal IT

The nineteenth-century French journalist, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, famously wrote, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” While that may apply to many situations, it doesn’t tend to hold water when talking about corporate dynamics.

Take the PepsiCo global snack food and beverage maker, for example. As related in a recently published LexisNexis case study, the company has undergone a series of merger and acquisition-driven changes over the course of its corporate history. And those changes have fundamentally transformed the company.

As the company’s long-time Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) system provider (the company implemented CounselLink in 2008), LexisNexis has been a firsthand witness to the most recent round of corporate shifts. We have also had the opportunity to help PepsiCo realign its ELM system to better meet its current corporate configuration and evolving business needs.

In the process, PepsiCo’s law department streamlined its data collection, revamped its reporting and added the Microsoft® Outlook® integration for accessing e-billing and matter management information – all changes that contradict Mr. Karr’s maxim concerning a static status quo.

The PepsiCo exercise reminds us of the importance of periodically evaluating and adjusting an ELM system’s configuration to ensure that it continues to align with a company’s goals, organizational structure and law department workflows. If your law department relies on an ELM system and it’s been a handful of years since you implemented it, chances are you could benefit from an optimization review.

The CounselLink optimization process, for example, is structured to assess a law department’s functional requirements in real time and then recommend any operational changes required to enhance ELM proficiency going forward.

Based on our experience helping law departments keep their CounselLink system in sync with their organization’s structure and goals over the years, we’re inclined to dismiss Karr’s saying in favor of the belief espoused by Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who said, “There is nothing permanent except change.”

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Photo credit: Ken Teegardin, Vision Of Eyechart With Glasses (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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About Chas Schmidt

Chas Schmidt
Chas Schmidt is a freelance copywriter and frequent contributor to the Business of Law Blog. A former Senior Copywriter for the Business and Litigation Software Solutions (BLSS) division of LexisNexis, Chas honed his strategic writing skills in a variety of previous roles on both the corporate and agency sides of the marketing communications fence. He is the former creative head of an ad agency in Durango, Colorado, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from North Carolina State University and plans to one day live off the grid in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.