In an earlier piece in Corporate Counsel Business Journal (“Top Tips for a Successful Contract Lifecycle Management Roll Out), Contract Logix outlined the necessary steps for contract lifecycle management (CLM) software implementation. Proper planning with the right stakeholders and a shared understanding of what success looks like are just two of the phases. The purchase is only the beginning, and the real value comes from being able to deliver results back to the business quickly.
What matters to each organization is specific and likely changes over time. According to Bloomberg Law’s 2022 Legal Ops and Tech Survey, the pandemic has forced the legal industry to change and has also had an impact on how organizations measure the value of the technology solutions they deploy. Improving efficiencies and workflows were the top reasons organizations were turning to technology, with 86 percent of respondents citing improving productivity as their reason for using legal tech. In addition, more organizations are looking for a return on investment. During the early months of the pandemic, 21 percent of respondents said that their organization did not measure the value of legal technology. This dropped to 17 percent in 2021 and to just 9 percent in 2022.
With CLM software, in-house legal and contracting teams can tackle many of the routine problems that eat up time, bog down resources, and keep them from working on more strategic activities like mitigating risk and ensuring compliance. Centralizing and securing contracts and related documents in a secure and easily searchable cloud-based repository automatically frees up the time it would take to search for all that data manually. Plus, it keeps contracts safe from unauthorized access, while still making them accessible from anywhere, on any device, but only to those with the right security permissions.
In addition, CLM software with clause and template libraries means that all standardized and approved legal language and formats are centralized and accessible by those who need them. This ensures that teams are always using the latest approved language in agreements, mitigating risk, increasing compliance and helping finalize business faster. Automated workflows help tackle slow and inefficient processes while ensuring business and regulatory rules are followed. Organizations can easily and quickly route contracts, tasks, requests and reminders to the right people every time. Finally, automated alerts eliminate missed dates and obligations, another huge challenge and area of risk for many organizations.
Perhaps the greatest ROI of CLM software is that it gives organizations the ability to harness the immense wealth of data in contracts to deliver actionable business insights that can be a catalyst for digital transformation. Organizations can benchmark and track key metrics such as the number and type of new contracts per month, number of requests for contracts, aggregate value of different contract types, number of contracts by internal or external organization and how long it takes for each stage in the contract cycle. All of these together provide an excellent picture of an organization’s overall health.
The role that automation, centralized management, real-time analytics, collaboration and improved security plays in CLM can help any team streamline the routine onerous tasks stifling productivity, while reducing risk and satisfying compliance requirements. CLM software also gives legal departments access to the data and analytics they need to support and lead digital transformation strategies with additional visibility into all contracts and processes. This is a great way for Legal to provide strategic insights, a return on investment, and measurable value to the business.