Welcome to the latest Legal Innovation Briefing, a selection of insights and updates curated for in-house legal teams.

In this Briefing, we take a look at ‘The Great Awkward’, why augmentation is trumping automation, and invite you to fill out our survey so we can report back on the priorities and challenges facing in-house legal teams right now.

The concept of VUCA, operating in Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous times, seems to be an even more accurate description of the world as each day passes.

Hopes that 2022 might be less eventful than the past two years have faded.

The return to the office, or The Great Awkward, as some are calling it, is still on hold for many. We have not quite been able to step into the “new normal”. It’s interesting to consider what this means for our teams and organisations, and what it means for continuous improvement, innovation and technology plans.

IDC (the International Data Corporation) has made some thought-provoking predictions for Australian and New Zealand organisations for the coming years, and we are doing our own survey to see what local in-house teams are prioritising as they navigate 2022. More detail on each of these below.

Augmentation will trump automation and redefining experiences

A focus on putting people first and human-centred technology, jumped out to us in relation to two of IDC’s FutureScape predictions for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ):

  • augmentation will trump automation
  • back to physical will redefine employee and customer experience to counter virtual fatigue.

IDC predicts that 65% of publicly-listed ANZ businesses will gain twice as much from tech investments that augment employee/customer activities compared with ones that automate such activities.

A current area of focus for many in-house legal teams that illustrates this point is document automation. The most successful of these projects start with what problems the different people in the document process need to solve, rather than what the automation software can do or having an expectation that it can do everything. The current state of the technology means that for most documents, people are still critical for inputting the information to create it, and also for reviewing it. Augmentation is definitely where the value is currently being experienced rather than wholesale automation.

Given our current Omicron situation, “back to physical” is still up in the air, but it was interesting to read that by just next year, IDC predicts that 40% of publicly listed ANZ businesses will shift half their new technology hardware/connectivity spend to modernise in-person experiences for employees and customers.

We’re in the process of designing our new office in Wellington and it is really exciting to re-write the script for modern, tech-driven, eco-friendly work environments that are attractive to both staff and clients.

Navigating 2022 - plans and priorities of New Zealand in-house teams

Our previous “Transforming the In-house Legal Team” surveys have shown high-levels of activity aimed at improving and innovating the services of in-house teams. As we settle into 2022, is the momentum still there? What areas are being prioritised? Are there new areas of focus?

To find out, we’re conducting a survey: “Navigating 2022 - plans and priorities of New Zealand in-house teams”. It aims to capture how in-house teams are adapting, strategic projects and transformation plans going forward, and the expected challenges.

Everyone who completes the survey will gain access to the full summary report and insights from the survey results.

It may be that only one person from your team needs to complete the survey so we suggest having a chat to your colleagues to discuss.

The survey will take around 10 minutes to complete. Your responses will remain confidential unless you confirm you are happy to be quoted.

Click here to start the survey. Thanks for participating.



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