How ServiceNow drives legal digital transformation

  • Now on Now
  • About ServiceNow
  • Solutions
  • 2020
May 05, 2020

Pat and Chris

ServiceNow’s mission is to make work, work better for people. We strive to make work experiences – tasks like onboarding as a new employee, managing IT requests, and dealing with workplace issues – as convenient as buying a pack of diapers online for my newborn. But, at ServiceNow, we do it all with an eye towards the employee, aiming to make their lives easy and hide the complexity.  

Our Employee Workflows empower people to get answers and help—anytime, anywhere. And, simply put, our Employee Workflow mission is employee service delivery, with the goal of breaking down the siloes of various enterprise business services.  

As the global workforce settles into the new normal of remote work, myself included, it has never been more important for organizations to solve for the needs of their employees. After all, the COVID-19 pandemic is the new moment that matters. Organizations not only need to treat all with humanity, but on the technology and tools side, they also need to offer a one-stop shop for employees and managers to access all of the information, services and technologies they need across HR, IT, Legal, Finance and everything in between, so that employees get easy access to the things they need now.  

While businesses have made great strides on their digital transformation journeys, one critical enabling function remains an opportunity: Legal Services and Operations. 


Modernizing legal ops with automated requests

Throughout my career, I’ve found that legal teams have long operated as a black box within the enterprise, as lawyers and paralegals have struggled to use technology more efficiently to help deliver better service to the business, and operations teams have wondered how and where to start their digital transformation journey. It is no easy task.  However, this is changing as legal teams are increasingly expected to scale and support the organization’s digital business transformation - new products, new geos, new channel relationships, new ways of operating, new business models, faster sales cycles, etc. - while providing greater transparency on workloads. At the same time, with a lot of new tech savvy legal professionals joining the workforce, expectations for modern mobile and digital experiences are rising. 

To help accelerate the evolution of legal teams like mine within the enterprise, ServiceNow will expand its Employee Workflow portfolio to include a new Legal Service Delivery product. I’ve been using the product for nearly six months, and in that short time the impact has been significant. Spoiler alert: we’re just getting started and Legal Service Delivery has helped my team eliminate some email, save time and have been able to quickly start working. The application has helped our team minimize manual work by intelligently prioritizing requests and increasing the speed of service delivery to the business. Legal Service Delivery helps get work done faster while providing real-time visibility into the team’s workload, which is critical. Understanding capacity is more important than ever with entire teams working remotely and the ever-increasing demands on legal. Legal Service Delivery is now available to early adopters.

For employees, the expansion of the ServiceNow platform means workers have all the information they need in one place, as we collectively strive to maintain productivity while at home or in a phased return back to the workplace. The user experience, mobile experience included, has the potential to be a game changer for the legal industry.

Accelerating innovation with the NowX incubation hub 

Legal Service Delivery is the latest innovation from NowX, our internal group solely focused on developing new concepts for digital workflows powered by the Now Platform. Last year, we committed to one to two new products per year, starting with Financial Operations Management.

We invested in this idea after examining our own process for responding to legal questions and requests, like patent applications or legal holds. Truth be told: it would typically take multiple emails before an employee request was even assigned. And all the subsequent interactions between employees and the legal department were tracked manually or in spreadsheets and ad-hoc tools. Meaning, if I ever needed real-time visibility on the status of a workload it was time consuming.

We also looked at our customer needs. In early 2015, we released a simple legal workflow that routes employee legal requests and ended up with more than 200 customers using a customized version of the tool to better serve their needs. This told us that there was a market demand for legal workflow technology, but we needed to innovate to better meet this demand. 

The beginning of our transformation journey

At ServiceNow we became ‘Customer Zero’ for our Legal Service Delivery pilot to help our own legal team manage requests more efficiently, better understand capacity and identify opportunities for self-service and automation. The opportunity to help shape a legal product to solve many of the challenges I have faced in my career, from a legal practitioner and operations standpoint, was simply not one to be missed. In my experience, many attempts to implement legal technology have stalled or been less impactful than originally hoped, because the strategy around the implementation has been focused on a silver bullet, before understanding the foundation of the legal work first. It is my belief that understanding that foundation first, is vital to successfully implementing digital transformation for legal.

I liken this strategy to building a house.  We start with the foundation, then onto the first level and so on.  If the roof is built on shaky foundations, well… the house can collapse. The same is true for digital transformation. The foundation in building a successful legal function is understanding some very basic legal data. For example, what are the types of requests our lawyers are working on? What teams are they serving? What is the true volume? Only when we truly understand the basics can we move onto the more complex solutions like what work to focus on for self-service or automation or integrating artificial intelligence, i.e. the roof of the house.

Since starting our customer zero journey in November 2019, initially focusing on privacy requests we have received 600+ requests.  Implementing a single point of engagement, a central intake process with simple yet clever logic, we have eliminated approximately five emails and 30 minutes, merely at the request stage of a request, meaning our teams are 80% faster to start the legal work. No more multiple emails back and forth between the requester and the legal team just to get the request started.  Safe to say our legal team and business partners are ecstatic. We helped make work better for our own teams.  

We have since automated stock approval requests and recently rolled the product out to our sales organization, so that any new commercial contract can be requested through the Legal Service Delivery application. In the first two weeks we have received over 130 requests.

While we are only at the beginning of this journey, the new Legal Service Delivery product has dramatically improved efficiency of our own legal operations. The solution is a natural extension of our digital workflows, built on the capabilities of the Now Platform. ServiceNow Legal Service Delivery will allow legal teams to kickstart their digital transformation, streamline legal processes and free up legal professionals to do the strategic work they do best.  


Forward-Looking Statements

This blog contains forward–looking statements about ServiceNow's plans and expectations. These statements reflect the current beliefs of ServiceNow and are based on current information available to ServiceNow as of the date hereof. ServiceNow does not assume any obligation, and does not intend, to update the forward–looking statements after the date on which they were made. Forward–looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed or implied in such forward–looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward‑looking statements include, global economic uncertainty leading to delays and unexpected difficulties and expenses in making generally available Legal Service Delivery and uncertainty whether sales of such product will justify these investments.

© 2020 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. 


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