Increase the Productivity of your Contract Processes
Contract management software on the cloud provides numerous advantages over in-house software, such as lower upfront hardware and software costs, anywhere/anytime access, instant software updates, and less-expensive and more-reliable data storage and backup.
But if you’re like many key decision makers at contract-intensive enterprises, as much as you wish to gain these benefits of software-as-a-service (SaaS) contract management, you’re concerned that using the cloud will decrease your ability to effectively manage your contracts.
Not only is this fear unfounded, SaaS solutions provide greater access, visibility, collaboration, and control throughout the contracting process than traditional on-premises servers.
You may worry that contracts on the cloud will be difficult to locate because they’re stored with so much other data. It may seem that keeping contract documents on local servers and continuing to email contract documents – or just walking printed copies down the hall – makes them more readily accessible to the people who are working on them.
But the reality is that contract management software on the cloud provides a higher level of access because all parties can access the contract via a web browser, at any time, no matter where they are located. It’s simple and quick to search for exactly the contract you need.
And, vitally, contracts are always up-to-date, so that people are accessing the correct version. Emailing, snail mailing, and physically handing off contracts can easily lead to confusion, delays, and mistakes due to people working from old versions. Access is clearly more efficient if there is no question that you’re accessing the right material.
Cloud contract management software also provides context when a contract is pulled up. The history of the contract, including all revisions, is immediately visible, as well as relevant data necessary for decision making.
And unlike the change-tracking features in Microsoft Word, contract management software on the cloud won’t allow people to disable the tracking capability. All changes that have ever been made – no matter how small – are easily viewed.
You might think that moving contracts from an in-house system to the cloud would result in less collaboration among stakeholders because the cloud involves even more automation of the contracting process. In actuality, the cloud increases collaboration between everyone involved in authoring, negotiating, signing, and monitoring compliance because it facilitates the organized sharing and movement of contracts throughout their life cycle.
“To many users, this is one of the most important advantages of cloud computing – multiple users can collaborate easily on documents and projects,” concludes popular author Mike Miller, who has written more than 75 books on digital technology. “Because the documents are hosted in the cloud, not on individual computers, all you need is a computer with an Internet connection, and you’re collaborating.”
It’s counterintuitive that you would gain more control over the contracting process by bringing an outside SaaS vendor into the process rather than maintaining contract documents and data in-house. However, increased control is exactly what happens as a result of the cloud’s enablement of customized interfaces, analytical tools, contract templates, clause libraries, and archives – while also providing the flexibility to quickly expand scale and adapt to changing requirements.
And you don’t have to lose control of your contract workflow specifications. Quality cloud contract management software doesn’t compromise an individual enterprise’s capability to configure workflows based on their unique needs. On the contrary, SaaS solutions provide the tools to better design and manage workflow.
Obviously, the improved access, visibility, and collaboration made possible by the cloud also result in more control. They all work together to make cloud software a highly desirable contract management solution.