Unsurprisingly, the ongoing digital transformation of contract lifecycle management indicates the growing importance of written contracts in building new relations, strengthening existing ones, and closing deals. Their increased usage calls for a general understanding of how to manage contracts across teams. Many CIOs and CISOs now have contract management responsibilities. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips that might be useful for every IT manager who has to work with contracts.
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As an IT manager, your typical workday will involve looking over dozens of contracts to ensure compliance with industry standards for information security. Therefore, we recommend that you spend time reading up on the legal terms and concepts commonly associated with contract lifecycle management.
Learning about the six essential elements of a legally-binding contract will be a good first step. Also, get up to speed with typical provisions of business agreements. These clauses are:
- Limitation of liability
With technological advances, contract management software (CMS) is the only panacea for all contract lifecycle ills. With a good contract management solution in place, you’ll empower your team to:
- Design customizable automated workflows that track contract performance
- Create personalized contracts in just a few minutes using a clause and template library
- Streamline negotiation, redlining, and approval routing to speed up contract execution
- Locate important documents and deadlines with a robust set of search tools
- Stay on top of key contract dates (more on that later!)
Usually, once signed, a contract is filed away in the back of an office cabinet and forgotten until the next billing cycle. You might also want to store it on a hard drive or an open-source server for easy access. But the truth is: even popular software like Google Docs and SharePoint have a fair share of disadvantages. Consider migrating your contracts and associated metadata to a centralized contract repository. That way, you’ll be able to store and organize all your contracts safely and securely. Plus, your team can access it from any digital device, anywhere in the world.
It’s time to move past the days of wet ink signatures and message or email-based signing processes and embrace electronic signatures. With the right solution, individuals and parties can e-sign contracts and other legal documents from any location, as long as their device is connected to a stable internet connection. Also, when you use e-signature software, you can rest assured that a document has not been tampered with since it was signed off.
A contract can be modified, renewed, or terminated any time before it’s due to expire. you must keep track of all your contractual timelines to keep potential disputes at bay.
For that reason, we recommend that IT managers use contract management software to keep track of all critical dates like billing cycles, auto-renewal, termination, and milestones, which, if missed, might have costly consequences. In addition, contract management software lets you set up automated reminders and notifications to keep your staff informed and prepared for anything that may be coming up.
In effect, contract intelligence is the practice of mining data from legally binding contracts. Business owners can use this information to perform risk assessments and make informed decisions. Here are a few benefits of contract AI:
- More robust contract visibility for teams to track obligations confidently
- Automated contract data review with intuitive graphics to mitigate risks proactively
- Intelligent data extraction and clause detection to access information fast
- Periodic alerts and automated approval routing workflows to shorten contract lifecycle
- Statistical data analysis to detect potential exposure to liability and questionable clauses
Contract management is not an easy task. There are a lot of contracts and addendums, and keeping track of them all manually would be a nightmare, not to mention the absence of a single source of truth to store and access all relevant data.
If you’re an IT professional eager to eliminate tedious, manual processes, get a free trial or schedule a product demo of contract management software. Check out all the features available with no strings attached. We are confident that the move to digital-first will considerably improve the quality of your contract management process. What’s more, your team will be able to filter, sort, create, review, sign, negotiate, and approve contracts in seconds instead of days or weeks.
In summary, with these tips, you can eliminate repetitive manual tasks and rebuild your workflows using automation. You can also optimize processes, shorten turnaround times, reduce risks, improve contract compliance, and dramatically increase your team’s output.