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We are accepting entries for the fourth annual Financial Times Intelligent Business report, for 2021. The report will continue to explore the convergence of legal and professional services with data and technology.

Submissions can be made by both businesses and their solution providers, such as the Big Four accounting firms, law companies, legal technology companies and other providers, partnerships and alliances. (Law firm initiatives in these areas are covered in the FT’s sister Innovative Lawyers reports and should not be submitted to this report.)

The initiatives submitted should have created impactful business outcomes that can be measured and evidenced. The FT Intelligent Business report will be underpinned by research by RSG Consulting and commentary from FT journalists.

Its publication will be accompanied by a one-day virtual forum and awards event on November 16, 2021.

New Collaborative Innovation award

Along with the categories detailed below, the FT and RSG have launched a new Collaborative Innovation award, which runs parallel to the FT Intelligent Business programme. This award will foster industry-wide innovation and collaboration. It blends the concept of awards with a hackathon to provide a forum in which every part of the legal industry can connect with like-minded organisations to solve systemic challenges.

We invite legal technology companies to join the Collaborative Innovation programme. 

The Collaborative Innovation programme will run across five heats throughout the year, but we encourage you to start your project at any time. We will feature a selection of successful projects in the FT Intelligent Business report and at the virtual forum. The deadline for entries to the FT Intelligent Business heat is June 20, 2021. You can find out more about the award categories, assessment criteria and how to register here.

The categories that will comprise the rankings, awards and editorial for the FT special report are:

Financial Services and Insurance

The financial services and insurance sectors are under increasing scrutiny in how they are responding to sustainability, both in terms of public opinion and new regulations such as the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.
We are looking for: case studies of the financial services and insurance sectors that show how businesses are using technology, data and professional services to become more sustainable businesses. For example, the role that tech, data and services can play in helping financial services organisations improve their reporting or increase visibility into their supply chains.

Public Sector

The public sector is under constant pressure to cut costs and improve service levels. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, many had to digitise their offering or cope with a surge in demand.
We are looking for: Examples of how public services have used technology and data to maintain operations and/or cope with an increase in demand during the pandemic. After more than a year, what has changed and what will the lasting impacts of these changes be?


Covid-19 continues to present challenges for the healthcare sector. Focus has shifted from how to trace the spread of the virus to how to effectively vaccinate it effectively, as well as how to allow those who are vaccinated to move freely again. One year on from the start of the pandemic, what has the impact on telemedicine been? 
We are looking for: Case studies from healthcare providers that have been able to expand their digital offerings in the wake of the pandemic, digital “vaccine passport” solutions and examples of how technology and data have been used to reduce friction in the vaccine rollout.

Business Acceleration

For many companies, contracts are key commercial assets and the cornerstone of their business. Too often they are inefficiently managed. World Commerce & Contracting (WorldCC), which represents contract managers, procurement professionals and supply chain officers, has estimated that companies lose 9 per cent from their bottom line through ineffective contract management. Better management of contracts can be an important driver of economic value and sustainable relationships for business.
We are looking for: Examples of companies who are using technology and data to change the way they approach the contracting lifecycle to accelerate both the sales and procurement processes.

Supply Chain

The past 12 months have seen several leading supply chain disruptions, including Covid-19, Brexit and the US-China trade war. Transparency and visibility have been critical to managing changes in supply and demand as well as to responding in a rapidly changing, global situation. 
We are looking for: Examples of how companies have used technology and data to minimise supply chain risk, support their supply chains and manage disruption in the past 12 months. 

Technology can play an important role in improving processes, reducing friction and enabling companies' legal teams to communicate its value to the wider business.
We are looking for: Examples of how corporate legal teams are using technology (including enterprise technology) to improve service and deliver greater value to the business. Technology providers are welcome to submit case studies, but they must provide a client reference.

Individuals: Top 10 Market Shapers

We are looking to profile individuals who are having a significant impact on their industry or profession. Applicants or nominees should demonstrate how they are shaping their industry or profession through concrete examples.


As for the FT Innovative Lawyers reports, we will take a case-study approach to assessing companies and their suppliers, with an emphasis on results. Suppliers and corporate functions (legal, sales, HR, finance, IT and operations) can submit up to three case studies that detail how they have tried to tackle the listed challenges. 

 Submissions will need to detail: 

  • The scope of the challenge.

  • A description of the solution and how it was implemented. 

  • How the business case for the solution was built and validated. 

  • The impact of the solution, such as the degree to which it has been able to: reduce costs; increase revenues; increase the speed of commercial transactions; increase share price; reduce the risk exposure; have an impact on internal users; benefit clients 

The submission must include details of an internal reference and the client, both of whom will be interviewed. Submissions will be benchmarked against each other and assessed on the strength of the client reference.

Who should make submissions

Companies and service providers including, but not limited to, technology companies; professional service firms; and other “new law” businesses.

How to submit entries

All submissions must be made via the online submissions form, found here. Please contact ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com with any queries. Each submission should be attached as a separate document, named using the following format: “company name — category — short submission title”. Video content, images or submissions in other formats are also welcome.

The forum event — November 16, 2021

Shortlisted and ranked entrants to the FT special report will be invited to share their case studies and ideas in more detail during this virtual forum. Delegates will include senior executives from leading companies, including chief legal officers, chief information officers, chief technology officers, heads of sales and senior executives from the solution providers.

Contact details

For research questions, please contact RSG Consulting on +44 (0) 20 7831 0300, ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com.

For editorial inquiries please contact Harriet Arnold, Project Publishing / Special Reports assistant editor, at harriet.arnold@ft.com (please include “Intelligent Business” in subject line of any email) For advertising opportunities or other research sponsorship opportunities please contact Robert Grange, global franchise development director at the FT, at robert.grange@ft.com or +44 (0) 20 7873 4418

For inquiries about the online event please contact Abigail Lewis at abigail.lewis@ft.com


July 30 Deadline for submissions 

Mid-August Shortlists revealed 

November 16 FT Intelligent Business virtual forum

November 17 FT Intelligent Business report is published on FT.com

Conditions of entry

There is no fee for entering submissions to FT Intelligent Business 2021.

The researchers reserve the right to move entries from one category to another if they feel it appropriate. The researchers’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The FT and RSG Consulting accept no responsibility for the loss or damage of material submitted.

The FT reserves the right to publish the names of the companies or individuals contained in the shortlist of outstanding entries, details and description of all entries and details of winners. All entrants grant the FT a perpetual, non-exclusive licence to publish details and descriptions of entries as referred to, and also agree to participate in publicity reasonably requested by the FT regarding their entry. The FT acknowledges that copyright in all entries remains vested with the entrants.

If you are shortlisted for, or win, an award, then the FT may at its discretion allow you to use the relevant FT Intelligent Business logo on your marketing materials. You acknowledge that FT is the owner of the logo and all related goodwill and agree that your use of the logo must be in accordance with any applicable FT branding guidelines in force from time to time or any instructions from the FT, that you will not use it as part of a composite mark or logo, and you will not use it in a manner which causes or is likely to cause confusion or a misleading association between your business and the FT, or damage to FT’s goodwill or reputation, or to the validity of any FT trademark. FT may terminate your right to use the logo at any time.

Please do not include any confidential information in your entry that you do not wish to enter the public domain because the FT is unable to guarantee that such information will not be published as set out above. Any inclusion of confidential information in an entry is at the entrant’s sole risk and responsibility and in knowledge of the FT’s request not to do so.

The FT reserves the right to cancel, postpone or suspend FT Intelligent Business 2021 at any time and to exclude any entries which it considers are inappropriate or do not comply with these terms and conditions. False or deceptive entries will render the entrant ineligible and such entries will be discarded.

The FT and RSG Consulting cannot accept responsibility for, or liability arising from, entrants taking part in the awards. To the fullest extent permissible by law, the FT and RSG Consulting exclude liability for all loss, damage or claim arising as a result of your entry to FT Intelligent Business 2021.

These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Disputes arising in connection with the awards shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

By submitting an entry, entrants will be deemed to have read, understood ad agreed to these terms and conditions on behalf of their firm or organisation.

The submitter warrants that it has obtained all necessary consents required under applicable data protection and privacy laws to allow the sharing of any personal data contained in the submission with the FT. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of assessing each submission and will be processed in accordance with our privacy policy.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2023. All rights reserved.
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