The Evolution of Contract Management
One of the trends that is transforming the role of contract managers and will profoundly change the way companies do business in the future is the idea of cloud-based contract management. Technology is rapidly evolving and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will be pervasive. Every single aspect of your contract management lifecycle will be linked through your network and the Internet.
Technology is converging. Instead of paper contracts living in file cabinets never to be seen and contract renewal dates completely depending on post-it notes around screen monitors, your company can maintain all of these files, dates and more on your network. The companies that take advantage of these new technologies are able to streamline operations, increase productivity and gain valuable business insight to stay ahead in the marketplace.
A Healthcare Example
For example, a healthcare facility has plenty of contracts in paper format, locked away in file cabinets or other non-visible locations. Several problems arise from this contract management malpractice: missed contract milestones, dates and renewal, and lost contract credit or payments. If the same healthcare facility would use a SaaS contract management system it could use tools to streamline the entire contract lifecycle for any type of contract or business agreement – from initial negotiation, creation/authoring, managing, searching, tracking, reporting, and more. The system also provides sophisticated tracking features to help you stay in full control of your contract obligations such as dates, events, commitments, fee schedules, and payments.
Secure Contract Management
Cloud-based contract management solutions offer businesses advanced secure access to the whole contract process while remaining flexible and mobile. Particularly, look for a provider that has a SAS70 certification. SAS70 stands for Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70, which is a widely recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This standard acquired higher importance as it met the requirements of Section 404 set forth by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. A SAS Type I compliant company is one that meets required controls of controls at a specific point in time, while a Type II not only meets the requirements at a specific point in time but also over a minimum six month period. This all means that the higher the SAS70 certification, the more astringent security requirements that the SaaS vendor agrees to adhere to.
The reality is that many small and medium sized businesses don’t spend any time on the security of their IT systems, so their digital contract files are exposed to hackers. But by choosing to do something about, those same businesses become protected and protect themselves against losses of revenue and data breaches.
Additionally, a contract management system, such as a healthcare contract management system in the example above, provides multi-level security ensures each user or function has access only to the functionality required – right down to the field level.
Cloud-based contract management software can maximize the value of each and every contract for any type business, including healthcare. Realize better visibility, greater ROI, and a more strreamlined and automated contract management process.