In recent years, cloud-based solutions have become a key driver of efficiency and productivity within organizations of all sizes. One area that’s seen significant development is contract management. Contract lifecycle management has moved from the category of “we’ll look into that when we grow” to a must-have for businesses of all sizes. Contracts are the lifeblood of any thriving company, and without a tool to manage them from drafting through implementation, the enterprise faces significant risk, not to mention lost revenues and declines in productivity.
As contract lifecycle management gains momentum, several key trends are emerging. As you consider how you will tackle enterprise contract lifecycle management, keep these five trends in mind for 2018 and beyond.
Contracting is often complex, nuanced, and time-consuming, and bottlenecks are common when single entities — such as the legal department — are charged with contract management. In the past, contracting has typically taken place in silos, with legal drafting the contract, leadership approving the contract, and other departments taking on the execution of the contract.
Because of the complexity inherent in contracting, though, many companies are shifting to a contracting team model, in which contracts are managed collaboratively. Contracts are overseen by a contract manager, who directs others who are responsible for aspects of the contracting process. Rather than opening the company up to risk by taking a piecemeal approach to contracting, contracting is now focused on the collaboration among multiple stakeholders in the organization.
Where does contract lifecycle management fit in? By using a CLM platform, all of the team members can see the changes to contracts — and who they were changed by and when — increasing transparency. Contract team members can quickly respond to stakeholder requests because everything is organized, and they know what needs to be done, when, thanks to streamlined processes and automatic milestone alerts.
Artificial intelligence has become an integral part of our lives, helping us access everything from the latest traffic and weather reports to choosing a great book to read. Virtually no aspect of any business function is left untouched by AI, and that includes enterprise contract lifecycle management.
Tools like Exari Vision provide companies with AI-driven insights into their existing contracts, not only helping them identify risk, but also predict trends, gain insight into client behaviors, and evaluate different potential business scenarios. By using traditional language processing algorithms and neural network technology, AI-driven contract management reduces the amount of time spent on all phases of contracting, while also improving the accuracy of the contracts and the analysis of their contents.
When contracts are managed well, they can insulate an enterprise against many types of risk. Without transparency into contracts, businesses can fall prey to poor decision-making, lost revenue, lost opportunities, and more problems. Managing contracting risk has long been challenging, thanks to inefficient storage methods and manual analysis, but with an enterprise contract lifecycle management platform, risk analysis and management is becoming easier. Exari Vision turns your documents into data, providing you with not only an overall risk score for your contracts, but additional, actionable data that can make the difference between a great decision and one that leads to losses.
Automating aspects of the contract management process not only saves time and money, but it also ensures that the small details and nuances are handled in a timely and accurate manner. CLM platforms allow for self-service contracting, in which individuals can use intuitive wizards and clause libraries to create standard contracts, saving time and reducing bottlenecks. Beyond making it easier to draft contracts, automation ensures that contracts are drafted correctly; for example, an intuitive, AI-driven system can automatically notify you when there are issues with a contract clause or terms or when any changes are made. A robust CLM platform can also integrate with scheduling and calendar software, automatically notifying your team of key milestones and deadlines, so no detail is ever overlooked.
Contracting is more complex than ever before. Enterprises are not only constantly growing and moving into new markets, customer demand for more personalized contract terms have led to unprecedented diversity when it comes to licensing and contracting models. There is no such thing as a “standard” or one-size-fits-all contract anymore, and this increased complexity has led to increased demand for enterprise contract lifecycle management tools. With Exari's proprietary Universal Contract Model™, contract data from any contract can be seamlessly extracted, organized and operationalized, from NDAs to ISDAs and beyond.
One thing that all of these trends have in common is that they can be met with a contract lifecycle management platform. Contract management software can no longer be viewed as something that could potentially be useful. It’s become a vital part of maximizing the value of your company’s contracts, while streamlining processes and improving efficiencies.
To learn more about how Exari can help move your company forward and stay ahead of these trends and challenges for enterprise contract lifecycle management, contact us today to schedule a demo.