Chief legal officers (CLOs) understand the importance of CIOs in business, but do not have enough in-depth interactions with IT departments in making key business decisions, according to a survey by Gartner.
The survey, conducted by Gartner and media company ALM in October last year, interviewed 70 CLOs, deputy CLOs, and general counsels across the globe.
It found 39 percent of CLOs say they never engage the CIO in merger and acquisition projects, but maintained IT affected their own work, with 34 percent saying IT failures have caused legal issues in their business.
There is cause to hope for better relationships between CLOs and CIOs, says Gartner. The survey points out CLOs who communicate with their CIOs once a month (51 percent) are generally more satisifed with IT, and among those who communicate more regularly, 76 percent say they have changed their legal strategies, and 82 percent their corporate policies, after consultation with a CIO.
French Caldwell, vice president at Gartner, says communication between the two roles is key for a successful legal-technical partnership.
"It’s clear that maintaining a high level of communication between the CLO and CIO is a main ingredient of the legal department's IT investment, and its satisfaction with the services IT provides," says Caldwell.
"The fact that 51 percent of the CLOs surveyed reported that they have conversations with CIOs once a month at most indicates a lack of communication between the two roles in a significant portion of the population. This is a serious problem because increased CLO/CIO communication helps clarify the legal department's IT needs, provides the IT department with better guidance for legal support and keeps CLOs informed of IT capabilities.” According to the survey, the top three, CLO technology investments are email encryption, privacy management, and database encryption.
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