Understanding Cloud Contract Management

Benefits of Cloud-Based Contract Management

What Is Cloud Contract Management?

Contract management tools have come a long way over the last half century. New products and technology enter the contract management vernacular each year. For legal and procurement teams trying to stay on top of the trends, the changes can prove daunting—delaying the decisions they need to make for business automation.

Here, we simplify one of the most common phrases that comes up in user reviews of enterprise contract management: cloud-based or cloud-based data.

This term means that your business data, in your contracts, is on a server rather than in a file drawer or desktop spreadsheet for contracts. And, the server you are using lives somewhere other than within your own building. That is cloud technology combined with a contract management platform.

While the explanation is simple, the benefits of cloud-based contract management systems are far reaching for the legal team and the organization as a whole.

Businesses use contract management solutions to automate document processes—to free up resources and to bring out the best in their teams. They include features like easy contract creation, e-signature, and automated compliance tracking. There are also more advanced customizable features, suited to the way your business operates, like creation of data analysis reports capturing possible revenue leakage.

More than just a contract repository, these contract solutions allow for collaboration while keeping the legal team as the gatekeeper of contracts. The many benefits of contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions go well beyond, leveraging artificial intelligence to help companies take their business to the next level.

Aggregate data from assets across all locations

For many organizations, their contract management process is contract data on discrete computers, with no way to get the data between each user. For others, they are leveraging a contract management software but it is on a local network and only available to those who work in that location. Few companies, these days, have all their documents, business data, and legal contracts housed within one centrally-built location. Yet, businesses are still using the same contracts process like nothing has changed.

In these scenarios, the legal team is limited in the way in which they can work to manage compliance. They are also challenged if they want to provide changes to workflows or make updates to the approval process for contracts or create standards that may reduce risk. The procurement team is limited in their negotiating power across similar contracts from different sites and to track key performance indicators.

With a cloud-based contract management software, any member of the organization can access their contracts or documents and review statuses, anytime and anywhere (with the legal team as the gatekeeper). Whether they are working from home or at a different site from the originator of the contract.

A team member in Istanbul can log into their company contract management system and get the progress of a vendor contract in Mankato. They can even leave a comment that will help provide better negotiating power on pricing and provide stronger services in the future. All of this through a cloud-based contract management solution that is well suited to the business needs.

When it comes to businesses accessing their contracts across locations, and being able to use that information to benefit the organization, cloud-based CLM platforms provide the solution to fit the process.

Competitive price and long-term cost savings

Cloud-based software provides the same features at a fraction of the cost of on premise services—and the same can be said for the price of SaaS (software as a service) products. The contract management software provider offers updates remotely so the services and support pricing are minimal with no on premise visits required.

The cost is further reduced by the lack of equipment to maintain an on premise network. The costs associated with purchasing equipment can prove exorbitant, even for companies with their own server clusters in place—it also comes with the need to manage and maintain the hardware. With cloud, your organization is not responsible for the servers that handle the information or technology.

With contract management built on cloud technology, all of those hardware costs are assumed by the company that provides your automated solution.

In addition, contract management software (SaaS) often allows for free trials. The free trial helps companies determine which of the products on the market is best for them—without the need to spend days on one website after another reading SaaS reviews.

Mobile access to data

Another advantage of a cloud-based contract management system is the ability to access data and information from any device. Executives on the road can review contracts and add their e-signature on agreements from their mobile phone. Sales team members, on a customer site visit, can initiate the contract creation process and check the real-time status of the contract or reference a related document. Legal departments, working from home, can search the entire central repository for one word of text—from their tablet.

Companies now manage contracts through technology that offers them a better way to get work done—no matter where they are using these SaaS tools. It allows businesses to scale a process better by giving users what they need. It also provides the same technology experience within a platform that people have come to expect on their devices.

Flexibility to meet business cycles

Cloud-based contract management solutions are designed to help teams do more with less resources. The system allows users to request new contracts with the click of a button and track the contract life from their home office via their contract management solution, utilizing the cloud. As data and information becomes available across the organization and the review processes are streamlined due to easy access features, business cycle time decreases.

Legal departments are also leveraging the contract templates to streamline business processes, reduce risk, track version control, and never lose track of contract renewals. Procurement users maintain cloud-based contract management to improve relationships with third party vendors, stay vigilant on threats to the supply chain, and manage their vendor contracts.

Some organizations have extended the visibility of their contract lifecycle management to external parties—allowing them limited visibility through a website interface to their own agreements.

No matter how you choose to use a cloud-based CLM platform, there is no doubt that there are benefits of increased visibility, lower costs, greater flexibility, and more efficiencies in contracts processes.

To learn more about Cloud-based Contract Management solutions, visit our contract management product page.

Click here to request a demo of Agiloft's flexible contract management software.