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Contract Management’s Dramatic Shift from “Nice-to-Have” to “Critical-to-Have” Reveals Study

Icertis the contract intelligence company that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with contract lifecycle management (CLM) software, has announced new findings that reinforce how critical contract management is to business decision-making.

The conclusions were drawn from a study, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Icertis that analysed how companies are using CLM software. A key finding of the report is that the status of contract management software inside the business has undergone a dramatic shift from an important business application to a critical-to-have solution.

“Among the firms surveyed, CLM has universally gone from a nice-to-have to a critical-to-have in a post-COVID world,” according to the Forrester Consulting study. “Firms who involve coalitions of C-suite stakeholders in CLM decision-making and have more fully integrated solutions are better prepared and more confident in managing rapid change.”

The survey explores the following areas:

  • Respondents from organizations that tie contract data more deeply into enterprise systems and have more input across departments reported, “CLM helped with increased contract intelligence and insight across business functions (64%) and improved spend visibility (61%).” The study found that, “[C-suite] stakeholders have increased their involvement in everything from CLM strategy to reviewing data and benchmarks from a CLM system since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • Mature firms rely on CLM to surface contract intelligence, including impacted agreements and clauses (80%), as well as for negotiation guidance and clause recommendations (87%), across their worldwide portfolios.”
  • Nearly two-thirds of forward-thinking companies no longer view contracts simply as shields against risk but as, “dynamic artifacts that continually change to reflect changing business relationships (64%).

Bernadette Bulacan, Vice President and Lead Evangelist, Icertis. “This year, it has become clear that focusing solely on CLM as an electronic repository isn’t enough. The COVID-19 pandemic proved real-time access to contract intelligence is a critical shock absorber to ensure businesses can manage risk and capitalize on opportunities, now and in the future.”

CFOs Lean Into CLM

The study also confirms C-suite involvement in CLM decision-making is increasing and the office of the CFO.

Includes selecting a CLM provider (40%) to reviewing contracting data from their CLM systems (35%).” CFOs glean immense value from AI-powered CLM systems which allow them, “to quickly and easily view all new, old, and in-progress contracts to uncover opportunities to save money, reduce risk, and learn from past mistakes.”

Artificial Intelligence Drives Better Decisions

One area the survey explored was the increasing importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in contracting. 56% of firms reported taking advantage of AI-enabled CLM solutions to gain enhanced visibility into contract relationships and performance data, enabling them to make more informed business decisions.

The study found that, leading firms are also leveraging AI-enabled CLM as a collaboration platform to support remote teams (59%), (52%) are leveraging CLM to enable self-service contracting capabilities for their employees.

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