Two thirds of legal professionals believe spending on artificial intelligence (AI) will increase in 2019, according to a new report released by OpenText.
Survey results, previewed at Legaltech 2019 in conjunction with Ari Kaplan Advisors, demonstrate the convergence of multiple disciplines and the expanding responsibilities of corporate legal operations professionals. Today’s corporate legal leaders are shaping IT strategy with an eye towards litigation-readiness and partnering with security teams on data breach response plans.
“AI, cloud and security have emerged as top priorities for law firms and enterprise legal departments as we approach 2020,” said Todd Elliott, OpenText vice president for security, artificial intelligence, and legal technology. “As legal professionals ready themselves for the latest requirements of the new economy and the new way to work, cutting edge software solutions in legal technology from OpenText can help them achieve their goals in AI, cloud and security.”
The rise of the cloud and the emergence of AI represent progress, but technology adoption will be a long-term endeavor, and this study highlights the willingness to adopt new technologies. With discussions increasingly focused on innovation, efficiency and the next generation of legal practice, legal operations leaders are at the forefront of piloting new technology, executing strategic initiatives, and helping senior leadership navigate the evolving risk and compliance landscape.
Key findings from the survey include:
- Movement toward the cloud continues: The majority of respondents, 83 percent, rated their organization’s current use of cloud-based tools at a three or above on a 1-5 scale. Further, an impressive 94 percent rated their company’s openness to implementing cloud solutions in the coming year at three or higher.
- The use of AI is growing: Within legal departments, 34 percent of respondents currently use AI (up from 23 percent in 2017). However, 66 percent of respondents believe that spending on AI solutions will increase in 2019.
- Focus on security is strong, but sensitive: A full 91 percent reported the legal department’s influence on information security decisions has increased, with 49 percent claiming the legal team is much more involved in information security. Having a seat at the table is significant as 91 percent of respondents also reported they have data security concerns around distributing electronically stored information to multiple discovery vendors and law firms.
- The GDPR is driving major eDiscovery, privacy and security changes: With 80 percent of respondents advising data privacy concerns are affecting how they handle discovery and investigations, the impacts of regulations such as GDPR are starting to be realized by legal professionals. 49 percent of respondents reported the volume of government or regulatory investigations has grown over the past 12 months.
- ECM joins the legal tech development conversation: 74 percent of participants reported if their ECM systems were integrated with their eDiscovery systems, it would be beneficial for the legal department.