What is “Digital Contract Management”?

June 17, 2022

3 min read

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Origins

Digital contract management refers to software that is used to write, store and monitor contract-related documents. With the aim of making contracts easier to manage, it is the natural development of contract writing in our increasingly digitised age. Yet, it was only when Covid-19 disrupted businesses worldwide that digital contract management garnered more mainstream attention. Many organisations adopted digital platforms to remain productive during work-from-home periods. Arguably, however, digital contract software offers extensive benefits other than pandemic survival. They make work-flows and processes more efficient. Some law firms even have their own digital contract platform – Linklaters and its proprietary platform “CreateiQ” is one such example.

Overview

Contracts are a central part of business. As a business grows, the number of contracts in the organisation can quickly pile up and become difficult to track or manage; this is where digital contract management comes in.

One benefit of digital contract management software is that it tracks changes made to every contract, ensuring that critical terms are not edited out of the document. This enhanced monitoring is helpful during the initial negotiation and drafting stage as frequent changes are often made at this point. Furthermore, most systems are programmed to send notifications when a contract is about to expire. This allows contracts to be renewed and updated in a timely manner. 

Another benefit of digital contract software is that it makes the contract process quicker and easier through features such as electronic signatures. Electronic signatures, or e-signatures, allow for contracts to be signed remotely online instead of in person. It saves time and money by significantly speeding up the time-consuming process of sending paper documents back and forth. E-signatures are sent securely which prevents the risk of documents getting lost in the mail. Plus, e-signatures require authentication from the signatories which makes digital contract software more secure overall. 

Digital contract management offers a more tailored system compared to familiar software like Word or Excel. For example, contract templates are available through contract software which ensures a standardised format, making drafting simpler and faster. Digital contract software guarantees that all contracts can be found in the same place, meaning information can be easily accessed and updated across the firm. As a result, contracts will not get stuck behind emails or computer passwords of specific individuals, as is often the case with Word and Excel. 

Digital contract management enables businesses, law firms especially, to become more efficient in contract writing. The automation that such software provides lessens the workload for lawyers – particularly for those in transactional departments where contracts are drafted regularly. In order to maintain a competitive edge against other firms and ensure the satisfaction of their clients, it is important for law firms, and businesses at large, to utilise digital systems and maximise efficiency.

Verdict

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, it will be expected that businesses reflect this development and provide a service that uses up-to-date, time-saving software like digital contract management. Not only is this system more efficient and affordable, it is also more environmentally friendly as it removes the need to print long contracts for drafting and signing. With many firms looking to become more environmentally conscious, digital contract management could be a viable course of action. 

Report written by Jola Atunwa

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