I recently spoke to an attorney at a rapidly growing company in the healthcare space. As usual, I started the conversation with a series of open ended questions to help me understand the way her legal department operates. As she described the tools she uses, she made the following comment:
"We're . . . slightly tortured because we're straddling Google . . . [but] legal loves Word because its just so much easier to use."
This is the state of play for most attorneys working at an emerging company. Attorneys default to MS Word for drafting agreements even though the rest of the organization lives in GSuite.
This is probably the case for a number of reasons. For starters, business teams decide which platform they will use (GSuite or MS Office) well before the organization hires its first attorney. This was certainly the case when I left law firm practice for a general counsel role. Even if this were not the case, though, business teams at emerging companies often prefer GSuite to Microsoft Office Suite. It is easier to implement for non-technical folks, and most people already have some level of familiarity with Google products from their personal life.
Whatever the reason may be, what is certain is that legal teams straddling Google and Microsoft often find themselves wasting a fair amount of time dealing with compatibility issues between the two platforms. Whether its formatting MS Word documents that have been opened in Google Docs, trying to version control MS Word files in GDrive, or aggregating comments provided through Google tools and inputting them into outward-facing MS Word documents (the list goes on), these types of administrative annoyances lead to frustration, mistakes and reduced productivity.
For organizations seeking to streamline their legal operations, finding a solution or developing a process that works seamlessly across both platforms could be game changing. I'm curious to hear other people's take on this and how they deal with the issue so feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at us at @FeatherDocs.