COVID has changed the way businesses operate internally and externally. Businesses across different industries and verticals are adjusting their strategies and day to day processes in an attempt to make the best of this unprecedented moment. For this reason, different types of technology have become more prominent as they allow businesses and professionals to maintain the pace of business in light of how COVID has transformed the way we work.
As businesses adjust to the changes and look forward to making plans to reopen, they need to ensure that they have policies and practices in place to protect their employees and customers. This means implementing screenings, deploying waivers, and ensuring the tech stack is robust enough to manage the requirements. As a result, this will require a lift from both Legal and Dev/IT teams.
In some companies, the extent of the relationship between Legal and IT is that Legal submits tickets to have their terms updated by the IT teams, who then have to make space in their sprints to complete this task. This is a major time suck for technical teams, and leaves legal without the control they need to ensure that the terms protect the company to the fullest extent possible. And while cross-functional collaboration between Dev/IT teams and Legal will be necessary during this reopening process, it won’t necessarily have to be a heavy lift.
Here are three ways the two teams can work together to make a return to work as smooth as possible:
1. Give Legal Control of the Terms
In order for the business to truly be protected, Legal has to have total control over the terms. This means that they need to be able to draft and update terms on their own. Otherwise, it will be on technical teams to oversee what should be the core competency of legal. Instead, Legal and tech teams should work together to ensure that the terms are both secure and seamless in their presentation. That is, legal can create pre-approved terms that are ready to be accepted and do not require either negotiation or constant review and approval from them. Technical teams can then focus on implementing a clickwrap solution to collect acceptance to these agreements.
2. Implement Clickwrap Agreements
When it comes to online or digital agreements, eSignatures are the traditional go-to for collecting acceptances. But these solutions are out-dated and unable to scale with the business as they aim to re-open, particularly for businesses that have a high transaction volume. Technical teams can work with legal to implement clickwrap agreements and use them to present employee agreements, COVID waivers, and consent forms. Clickwrap agreements replace the need to sign an agreement with a box or button that users can check or click to indicate assent to the terms. While the dev team will work with the third-party vendor to implement the clickwrap solution, legal will have control over the content of the terms, and will not need to ask the dev team to publish or update terms constantly.
3. Workflow and Content Automation Software
With the changes in business priorities, dev teams will no longer have the bandwidth for some repetitive tasks that previously received a lot of attention. Instead of hyper-focusing on them or ignoring them altogether, automate those processes so you have time to focus on others. Workflow and Content Automation (WCA) is a growing category of technology that businesses should leverage. After identifying the repetitive processes, WCA enables you to identify high volume, low-value transactions and automate the document workflow associated with them such as implementing clickwrap agreements. Legal can determine the content and structure of terms and using WCA technology, dev teams will implement them into existing workflows, reducing the need for constant attention.