Over the years, cloud computing has brought out two crucial advantages for businesses: location independence and collaboration. For Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), this shift in technology has heralded a need for going beyond just paperless transactions. In a sector where contractual relationships must be nurtured, cloud-based SaaS solutions bring tangible benefits that on-premise infrastructure cannot.
On-premise CLM is limited
Many businesses opt for on-premise CLM solutions that they can manage by themselves. However, on-premise systems lack the speed and adaptability to keep pace with the business’s changing needs and present further challenges in:
- Cost: Bespoke on-premise storage owned by the enterprise ends up costing much more than cloud solutions since the business must handle all maintenance.
- Security: The increasingly complex threat landscape calls for an evolved security set up. With on-premise CLM, enterprises have to work towards keeping data and resources secure always.
- Support: On-premise systems need hands-on support that forces a dependency on IT to keep them running.
- Scalability: Ensuring that the software is scaled on time and across all departments is an uphill task for on-premise CLM.
- Silos: Many on-premise solutions cannot handle interoperability between departments, which keeps them in silos.
Better compliance and ROI with intuitive cloud computing
A robust cloud-based solution makes a compelling case for adoption through benefits that overcome all the challenges of an on-premise storage system:
- Cost savings: Cloud CLM requires fewer resources to maintain, and there is no need to hire a separate IT team to manage it. It also allows for a range of subscriptions based on suitable pricing models, so businesses can keep a close eye on costs as teams expand and functionality requirements change.
- Hassle-free installation: Since there are no hardware or server set-ups involved, businesses need not worry about hiring IT infrastructure teams to handle installations, data migrations, or maintenance. The CLM provider can take care of it all remotely.
- Seamless access: Ease of use in cloud CLM is enhanced as it is accessible from anywhere, remotely. Quick check-ups on clients or information on important contractual terms, clauses & compliance statuses can be done even on mobile devices.
- Integrations with other applications: Businesses often lose out a lot by investing in software that doesn’t cooperate with their SCM and CRM tools and services. When a fully compatible cloud CLM is chosen, it can integrate seamlessly with day-to-day apps such as Microsoft Suite products - OneDrive, Word & Excel, SCM/CRM tools like Salesforce, MS CRM, SAP or even other cloud-based application software.
- Flexible and scalable: The flexible, agile nature of cloud-based systems makes them perfect for businesses of any size, including start-ups looking for software that can scale with their budget, size, and goals. They are more flexible than solutions on a local server because bandwidth and storage space can be expanded without upgrading the system. This leads to greater productivity and efficiency of the contract lifecycle.
- Automatic software updates: Businesses that use a cloud-based CLM don’t have to be concerned about older versions of the software, slowing the process down, or cumbersome system updates interrupting it. Easy upgrade/update options in cloud CLM saves IT resources money and time.
- Data management and security: With a centralized data repository for the contract, supplier, and customer data on the cloud, these solutions efficiently manage version control, integrate with legacy contracts, and provide easy access through dashboards. Moreover, robust firewalls, access controls, and security protocols provide safeguards like disaster recovery in case of emergencies.
A cloud-based solution not only offers greater visibility but is also intuitive, allows for an accelerated collaborative process, and pushes for better compliance. With a central repository of information, it presents a single source for truth. Enterprises can focus less on computing power and more on their core competencies.
Feature-rich cloud solutions enhance CLM
Opting for a cloud-based SaaS solution can streamline the process of CLM effortlessly at every stage. Enterprise-grade cloud CLM can help the largest global companies scale up their processes to manage the entire lifecycle of contracts and agreements. Cloud CLM solutions also use MS Word documents to speed up collaboration between teams and external stakeholders. It’s important to choose a cloud CLM solution with comprehensive capabilities for each stage of the contract lifecycle, such as:
- Quickly creating contracts from templates and a clause library
- Utilizing AI/ML to improve CLM based on historical data
- Supporting users in Microsoft Word for document generation, redlining, and automated version control with audit trail
- Including searchable terms and clause library with drag-and-drop insertion
- OCR support for automated import of 3rd party and legacy agreements
- Graphical tracking of contract stages and guidance on next actions
- Support for complex approval flows and integration to eSignature solutions
- Integration with third-party software through inbound/outbound interfaces
- Amending contracts over the life of the agreement
- Tracking compliance to the contract over the duration of the agreement
- Ensuring timely renewals and smooth closeouts
Cloud-based CLM is a necessity, now and in the future
The uncertainties caused by the 2020 healthcare crisis have led to the increasing adoption of automated, location-independent legal processes for businesses. As such, a cloud-based CLM is critical for enterprise systems that require collaboration platforms to deal with the displaced workforce in 2020 and beyond.
Furthermore, today, CLM is more than just a repository but also a source of contract intelligence that can help businesses make better decisions and build stronger relationships. Cloud-based CLM can be beneficial here as well. Cloud-based vendors get to train their AI with data sets from multiple clients. And the advantage is clear - a richer and smarter AI engine that can give businesses optimized solutions built on best practices. A robust CLM solution like HARMAN’s can even build better customer-facing systems with rich and engaging user interfaces and an attractive look and feel. This lays the groundwork for futuristic systems like self-service workflows with pre-approved workforces and templates.
What better way to ensure timely and compliant contract management than with a truly collaborative solution based in the cloud?
Please reach out, to discover how you can foster better contract relationships with HARMAN’s cloud-based CLM solutions.