If there were only one thing you could do to increase business success, what would it be? 

That was the question at a lightning round at this year’s Agiloft Summit, hosted in Las Vegas in January. Moderated by LexFusion’s Chief Strategy Officer Casey Flaherty, the panel featured some of the best and brightest minds in contract management, including: Sally Guyer, Global CEO of World Commerce & Contacting; Pierre Mitchell, Chief Research Officer of Spend Matters; Dawn Tiura, CEO and President of Sourcing Industry Group; Alla Valente, Senior Analyst at Forrester; and Mike Haven, Head of Legal Operations at Intel. 

Read on below to hear what these contract management all-stars suggest you do for success in today’s ever-evolving technological landscape and how you can stay ahead of the curve. 

Sally Guyer: “Simplify”

For Sally, the answer is obvious: You should simplify.

“Unfortunately, contracting has become this horrible, complicated mess,” Sally said. “And we are reacting to the complexity that exists … But we are reacting to it in all the wrong ways. We can’t just keep filling our contracts with more and more legalese and more and more clauses.”

The answer, she said, is to become an organization that’s easy to do business with. 

“The winners in life are those that simplify the lives of others. And if you simplify, if you seek to simplify, people will come flocking to you,” she said.

Mike Haven: Experiment with AI

Preparedness for the future and for things to come, Mike said, is critical to business success. And for contracting, that means embracing and experimenting with emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI). 

“That doesn’t mean that you have to go out and start using it for everything,” he said. “But I believe that the risk of experimentation with AI, especially right now at this time, is far less than the risk of being left behind if you don’t start playing around with it.”

That way, he said, when AI becomes the business standard in the near future, you won’t find yourself left in the dust.

“You might be replaced by a human if you don’t get ahead of this technology,” he warned. “You might be replaced by somebody who did start playing around with AI now.”

Pierre Mitchell: Focus on building skills

Echoing other panelists’ sentiments, Pierre emphasized the importance of experimenting with and building skills with AI technology. 

“Play with ChatGPT. Get into some pilots. Do things that are lower risk, like one-time efforts to get your contracts digitized and use the AI to get that first view into a rationalized clause library with some metadata,” he said. “You’re basically doing this one-time activity that is kind of risk-free. It’s a great area to pilot some of these new technologies.” 

Building these skills, he said, is the best way to ensure ones “hire-ability” and make them a competitive worker amidst the layoffs within the tech industry.

“You’re going to need to elevate higher and higher and higher-level skills because the AI is indeed working its way up. You better stay ahead of the algorithm and learn how to use those tools rather than getting replaced by those tools,” he said. 

Dawn Tiura: Automate “boring, repetitive” work

Dawn warned attendees that their organizations would lose top talent if they are given “paper pushing” or other repetitive, manual tasks – things that could be “easily automated.”

“You’re going to lose a lot of the talent you have because we make really smart people do really dumb work,” Dawn said. “Those people want to do this stuff. They want to play with AI. They want to say ‘what if,’ they want to take your organization to the next level, but you’re not allowing them that freedom.” 

When organizations have efficiency tools like CLM, Dawn said, then that frees up workers to pose strategic questions, like:

  • What should I do different?  
  • How can I improve these contracts?  
  • Where do we have risk?  
  • Where can I mitigate risk?

“So if you have good people, stimulate them, excite them, make them want to come to work. Make them want to come to work for you in your company and make them want to stay and build loyalty,” she said. 

Alla Valente: Consider systemic risks

Admitting we can’t foresee everything is key, Alla said. 

“How do we get comfortable with being uncomfortable?” Alla asked. “How do we get comfortable with at least saying that there are any number of things, any number of events we never foresaw, right? This isn’t about those high probability, low impact things because I’m going to tell you, it’s the low probability events – that once in a lifetime, once in a hundred year flood. Those are the ones that have extreme impact.”

The best thing you can do to mitigate risk is to study what’s going on around you and keep yourself informed, she said. 

“At the very least, look at these external forces,” she said. “Understand how they might impact your business and in what areas. Are they going to impact the business’s investments? Are they going to impact assets? Are they going to impact employees? Are they going to impact customers?” 


If there’s one thing these panelists agreed on, it’s this: the future is going to look very different than it is today.  

AI and automation have the potential to be true game-changers, bringing with them a host of unforeseeable changes to our world and the way we work.  

But by staying abreast of these technological updates and using a flexible CLM system like Agiloft, you can adapt and respond to these ever-changing tides and achieve true business success.