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Is NDA automation the best place to start your legal automation journey?

Posted by Gene Turner on 20-May-2024 07:00:00

Your Journey Starts Here written on a board with a business man on background

In legal automation, the most important thing is actually getting started and finding an initial project to get going with. Too many legal teams think about it, and think about it, and never actually start.   But where do you start? 

The Pros and Cons of starting with NDAs

You might start with confidentiality agreements. That is what many organisations have done. They are easy to automate, so you can quickly get something up and running within days. A few years ago, automated NDAs were a ticket to winning innovation awards and speaking slots at legal tech conferences, but not now.

However, because they are so simple, it may be hard to test whether the proposed solution can also scale and accommodate the more complex processes you really want to address. We've seen some really weak solutions that look good on simple documents like NDAs but can't do much else.

We've also seen occasions where legal teams have put forward an automated confidentiality agreement process for approval as the proof of concept but have been knocked back by IT, Procurement or other stakeholders. They refused to even look at it because they could not see how the automation of such a simple and inconsequential document would benefit the organisation compared to other projects also being considered.

If you go with a very simple document or process, explaining that it is not the end goal will be important. It is merely a step to confirm key assumptions before committing more material time and budget to more strategically significant matters that the solution can also handle.

NDAs and something else

In several recent pilot projects, we have done an NDA alongside something more consequential, such as a more complex agreement for buying goods or services.

It's easy, and overall more cost effective, to add both into an initial pilot and has benefits in showing the breadth of support legal can enable across the organisation from the very simple to the more complex.

Because we've done so many services agreements we have a lot of pre-built automation that we can usually overlay over an organisation's own templates, making these agreements an easy add-on.

Pairing and NDA and something more consequential is a good approach for the reasons above. Having said that, if you don't currently have an automated NDA solution and you'd like one set up really quickly at a very affordable cost, do get in touch – it's something we can deliver within days, and it does enable faster progress onto more complex documents.

Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Self-Service Legal Automation, Automated NDAs, Legal Automation, Legal Operations, Contract Management, Productivity

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