GCs Say 'Budget' Is Their Biggest Tech Problem

By William Vogeler, Esq. on May 06, 2019

If everybody is so hot for new technology, why do in-house lawyers have such a hard time getting money for it?

That's a question bothering general counsel, according to a new study. A global report shows that 55 percent of in-house attorneys say "difficulty in getting budget" is their main tech challenge. It's a puzzle because the companies apparently have the money for legal tech. They just aren't sure how to spend it.

GCs to Blame?

Citing the study, one legal tech site speculates that general counsel are to blame. They don't know how to sell corporate boards on the need for artificial intelligence. "The challenge is really -- it would seem -- not that large corporates don't have $70,000 spare to pay for an AI review system license, but rather that the GC may not be able to articulate the benefits to the CFO in a way that triggers the 'opening of the wallet,'" the Artificial Lawyer says. Wow. That hurts, especially coming from an artificial intelligence. And who said corporate lawyers were soulless?

Anyway, there's more to the story. General counsel and their boards agree that cyberattacks are the biggest threats to their businesses. In other words, they know they have a problem -- and it's complex.

It's Complex

In the survey, nearly 80 percent of the GCs and board members believe data breaches and cyber-attacks are their greatest technology risks. However, the authors said, there is a "significant disconnect" between the attorneys and their boards concerning company preparedness for it. It seems general counsel don't see that as serious a problem as the board members do. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall at that board meeting -- just to see board members being more optimistic than their lawyer. But another metaphor might better answer the question -- the question about why companies don't know how to spend on legal tech even though they know there is a major problem. It's not merely a "significant disconnect." It's more like a deer in the headlights.

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