Why Using Google Apps for Contract Management Isn’t Enough
The current number of freelancers in the U.S. is about 53 million. Within the next decade, two out of every five Americans will be a freelancer. This temporary workforce is often spread out across different cities and time zones. This means that several organizations turn to cloud-based collaboration tools, such as Google Apps, to complete tasks.
While Google Apps may be appropriate for certain industries, is it the right tool for contract management? Here are several reasons that show why that may not be the case.
1. No Data Recovery Past 25 Days
Once your data disappears from Google Apps, it is gone. Administrators can only retrieve files that have been deleted within 25 days. This means that if you didn’t discover that several of your contract templates were deleted within that time frame, there is no way to recover them.
Additionally, you need to have a system administrator that is very responsive at all times. Only the owner of the account can request file recoveries to Google.
2. No Customer Service During Downtime
Have you ever tried contacting Google during a service outage? The Mountain View based company is well known for not answering any inquiries and only provides updates via its Apps Status Dashboard. This means that you will be in the dark during outages.
Depending on your tolerance with uncertainty, you may not be comfortable with this lack of communication during outages.
3. Limited Credit for Outages
While Google has a decent record of uptime, let’s imagine that your service is out for 20 days. This is an extreme scenario, indeed. However, in such an extreme scenario you would expect to get your money back for those 20 days. Unfortunately, the maximum monetary credit that you can get for a month is the monetary equivalent of 15 days.
4. No Backups
Remember that Google Drive is a solution for syncing files, not for backing up files. Particularly, if you sync the primary data on a primary computer any error will be replicated and you only have a few days to recover delete files, as mentioned earlier. If you have to meet industry regulations or internal company policies, you can’t rely on Google to do the backups for you.
The best practice is to keep an off-site backup that allows you to recover your data in case of any loss. This can only be achieved with the right contract management software.
5. No Compliance
If you need to meet compliance requirements, such as those from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Google Apps can’t help you. You need to look for a solution that keeps full contract history for auditing purposes and automatically maintains compliance standards.
6. No Automation
All files in Google Apps are isolated and don’t “talk” with each other. Google Apps lack the automation that contract management software provides. You have a spreadsheet application, a word processor, and a calendar. That’s it. You cannot build a contract lifecycle that automatically indicates the next step, alerts the right team member what needs to be done, and provides the location of the necessary files.
7. No Enhanced Document Scanning
A key feature of an excellent contract management software is the ability to OCR documents when scanning them into the system. In contract management processes, documentation is key for compliance and record keeping. Google Apps doesn’t offer the ability for batch scanning of documents and making annotations on scanned documents.
Google Apps is a useful tool for personal use or collaboration of non-sensitive files, however it’s not the right one for contract management. Look for a software solution that meets the industry requirements, including compliance standards.