“Olga, I’m stuck.”
I hear this quite often. Smart, driven attorneys will say, “We’re facing potential Brexit fallout. New accounting rules. The GDPR and CCPA. Now more than ever, I need to be able to have intelligent conversations about contracts at scale, at a moment’s notice. But I can’t access the information and insights I need fast enough.”
Today’s lawyers need the details, access, and contracting confidence only Contract Management Software (CMS) can deliver. Many recognize the need to include advanced technology in an updated approach to contract management. But, collectively and individually, some remain stuck; locked in tradition, afraid to change long-established practices, and unsure which of the many technology tools to trust.
Meanwhile, as more organizations continue to modernize their operations, contracts have morphed into completely digital assets. Clients increasingly demand that lawyers adopt technology to increase efficiency and deliver more strategic advice. Throughout these changes, CMS has become a key part of a client-centric approach to technology adoption and a trustworthy tool lawyers can rely on to help them adapt to any change with confidence.
Scaling Your Contract Management Approach
Years ago, if we had a “digital” contract, it was just a PDF of a paper contract. Now, contracts are drafted, negotiated, executed, managed and stored wholly in digital form. If we have a paper copy, it’s because we printed a contract that was e-signed. Our “original” version remains in digital form. And so do the business data and insights we so desperately need.
CMS offers a single, secure, convenient platform in which to streamline and scale all your digital contracting workflows. The efficiency gains alone are compelling enough to warrant adopting CMS. AI techniques and automation optimize contract drafting, review, and management for improved transparency and greater accuracy. In the next five years, advancements in natural language processing and automation will eliminate nearly all manual contract drafting and review work for lawyers.
The speed, structure, and processing power of CMS is designed specifically to scale contracting efforts and meet ever-changing needs driven by new regulations and increasing growth and complexity of information. It also allows you to measure your success and contract performance so you can continually optimize its usefulness.
Contract Management Platforms: A Client-Centric Approach
As long as lawyers remain mired in outdated, inefficient practices, the companies they serve do, too. Using software like Word and Outlook to handle contracts is like using an abacus to count the grains of sand in the Sahara Desert. For one thing, it renders organizations too slow to adapt to changing market pressures. This is why clients increasingly demand that lawyers adopt technology to be more efficient. In fact, law firm and legal department respondents to the Bloomberg Law 2019 Legal Ops Tech Survey reported that:
- Clients increasingly expect us to use technology to be more efficient (65%)
- As clients, we expect our outside counsel to use appropriate legal technology to be more efficient (87%)
Executives need the strategic legal guidance you can only provide with unimpeded visibility into their contract portfolios. They want the same instant answers and helpful insights lighting the way to data-driven decisions that they see other organizations using to drive value. Advanced technology empowers your legal department to deliver swift, cost-effective services and fast action in response to client needs. And CMS platforms have shown themselves to be reliable for increasing the value of contracts through data analytics.
The Trusted Approach to Legal Contracts
Legal teams have been dealing with increasing information complexity, growing volumes of legal work, and changing client demands for years. Many legal professionals turn to CMS first because it has already proven useful and trustworthy.
HBR Consulting’s 2018 Law Department Survey found that 55% of departments already used contract lifecycle management software. A further 29% of companies planned to implement contract management solutions in the future → the highest percentage among the 19 different technologies surveyed.
Since then, Forrester found trust to be an important factor in the growing use of CMS, saving in its 2019 Contract Lifecycle Management Report, “The CLM market is growing because more contract managers and legal professionals use CLM to address the challenges of creating, managing, and getting the best business results from their contracts. Contract management and legal pros increasingly trust CLM providers to act as strategic partners, providing firms with the right tools to get the best value from their contracts.”
A Confident Approach to Contract Conversations
Like a centralized headquarters, a CMS platform that offers robust data analytics becomes the single source of all the business intelligence contained within an organization’s body of contracts. Rise out of the mire of manual negotiation, review, and management with automated workflows. Access data-driven insights needed to respond quickly to growing numbers of changes that continually alter market forces and drive unpredictability. Cloud-based CMS supplies you with the critical information you need to engage in informative discussions and make smarter decisions faster anywhere, anytime. Finally, get “un-stuck” and approach intelligent business conversations with confidence today and in the future.
Olga V. Mack is the CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology.