Growing Contract Management Space: What It Can Offer to Your Department

I recently spoke on the Reinventing Professionals podcast with Ari Kaplan about meaningful contract management. The podcast is designed to offer ideas, guidance, and perspectives on how to effectively navigate a perpetually shifting professional landscape, and it has a unique focus on the legal industry and the technology that is driving its evolution. Here are some of the insights I shared.

Modern contract management platform

Why is there so much change occurring specifically in the contract management space?

Contracts are important. Money may be the blood of a business, but contracts are the bones. If you think about a company, underlying almost every asset or every important relationship is a contract. Every business, every nonprofit, and every government entity has lots of contracts. They hold the business together. They generate assets for the business.

Yet, as critical as they are, they’re still not actionable. In fact, even in 2020, they are still quite manual. Professionals who create, negotiate, or manage usually don’t use data analytics or even modern technology. That’s why you see a lot of interest in technology for contract management. Contracts matter.

At the same time, there is a trend in general counsel in-house legal operators wherein in-house attorneys are demanding twenty-first-century tools, maturing technologies like cloud, AI, and blockchain, and increasing the critical business role of legal departments. It’s no coincidence that contract management is having a moment; in-house attorneys are seeing its importance and seeing the enormous potential for technological advancements.

What are some of the characteristics of a modern contract management platform?

I think of it as three things: visibility, efficiencies and process control. While there are numerous other characteristics, these are the main reasons that an in-house counsel, whether it be general counsel, legal operators, or in-house counsel, decides to acquire a contract management solution.

Visibility: If you find that you are doing a job and your peers in other departments have no idea what you are working on when it’s going to be done, and what the process looks like, you probably have a visibility problem. A contract management solution can help.

Efficiencies: If you find that your peers in other departments, or even in your department think that you are taking a little too long or that contracts process is a black box, you likely have an efficiency challenge. It can probably be addressed by a contract management solution.

Process control: If you find yourself cutting and pasting, reconciling versions, going back and forth between email and other applications, you probably have process problems. A contract management solution can definitely help. 

Part of Olga V. Mack’s series of Above the Law articles.

About Parley Pro
Parley Pro helps businesses get more from their contracts by transforming them into strategic, digital assets — giving them the tools to create, negotiate, manage, automate, and optimize contracts to streamline business objectives, maximize revenue and reduce risk.

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