3 IT Contract Management Best Practices To Streamline Your Process

09/7/21

CobbleStone Software provides 3 IT contract management best practices.

If you work within the IT industry, you may find that the management and oversight of a high volume of IT contracts of ranging complexity can require many moving parts.  If your organization is taking on IT contract management with manual contract management methods - such as those involving many filing cabinets, decentralized spreadsheets, and scattered emails - your team runs the risk of facing wasted time, squandered revenue, costly mistakes, and missed opportunities (among other harmful consequences).  Leave obsolete and damaging IT contract management methods in the past; tackle the following three IT contract management best practices with centralized and user-friendly contract management software.

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IT Contract Management Best Practices

IT contract management best practices are comprised of methods that make the oversight of IT contracts easier, more centralized, and more efficient - from contract requests to contract renewals.  IT contract management best practices include the leveraging of contract intelligence, the ability to seamlessly search and report on contracts, and the centralization of complete contract lifecycle management.

# 1 - Leverage Contract Intelligence

With the help of AI-based contract management software with powerful contract intelligence built on a foundation of machine learning, your organization can "drag and drop" contract documents into your system and automate and streamline contract data extraction and classification for IT support contracts, IT consulting agreements, IT service agreements, and virtually any other IT contracts.

CobbleStone Software allows you to drag and drop contracts and agreements.

Natural language processing (NLP) with a contract intelligence and machine learning engine supports data pre-processing, automated data extraction, and auto-fill of critical information within your IT organization’s contract records.  Bulk extraction and categorization of legacy contracts can also be performed - further centralizing your collection of contracts in one unified and secure contract repository.

Automated document clause detection allows your team to compare the similarity of introduced clauses to those within your organization’s pre-approved clause library of IT support contracts, software agreements, hardware agreements, consulting agreements, service agreements, etc. - and easily add them to the clause library or training data for an almost exponentially more intelligent process!

CobbleStone Software supports clause comparison and machine learning.

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With leading contract intelligence within IT contract management software, your organization can configure rules to identify and secure sensitive data points.  This data protection process establishes data parameters for specific data while consolidating and categorizing that data.  Your organization can save time by allowing IT contract management AI to process these tedious tasks and data import analysis.

For better IT contract risk management and opportunity assessment, your organization can utilize graphic-based risk rating and mapping features of contract intelligence - which provide valuable insight for assessing risk.  An intuitive and visually engaging risk assessment matrix can present your team with risk probability patterns and risk exposure at a glance. This level of risk visibility can help your team enact its risk response plan quickly.

CobbleStone Software offers a risk assessment matrix.

Contract intelligence supports your IT contract management best practices with insightful risk mitigation tools.  Organization-wide accountability can be based on your organizational “risk score,” which measures how consistently and effectively your organization leverages the helpful features of your IT contract management software platform.  Risk scoring promotes improved risk mitigation, and your team can take advantage of a wide variety of innovative functionality for enhanced IT contract management.

Watch the video below to learn more about leading-edge contract intelligence.

 

# 2 - Streamline Contract Searching & Reporting

Contract Searching

Robust IT contract management software makes it easy for you and your team to search for important IT contracts and agreements - as well as relevant company or vendor information, files, assigned employees, key dates, status, and more.  You can search for a single word, multiple words, or phrases with a user-friendly and familiar IT contract management search bar.  Once words or phrases are searched, you can click links to record pages containing that content.  Additionally, advanced solutions support the exportation of results - including contracts, requests, and companies - to spreadsheet format.

Advanced contract management software solutions support "did you mean..." functionality to further streamline your IT contract management processes and make them more accurate.  Let's say you search the word "contract" and misspell the term - such as accidentally typing "contrecct."  Your enhanced IT contract management search feature can offer you an intuitive word alternative.  In this example, your system would know that you meant to search the word "contract."

Your organization can filter searches to expedite processes further.  If searching for words, you can filter to choose whether you want words to contain your word, whether you want exact matches, and much more.  For key dates, you can select exact dates, dates before the searched date, dates after the searched date, and much more.  You can also view past searches, easily download documents, preview relevant files quickly after searching, and so much more.  The possibilities are virtually endless with powerful IT contract management search functionality!

Watch the video below to learn more about user-friendly contract searching.

 

Contract Management Reports

You can leverage IT contract management software tools to positively transform contract management reports.  IT contract management software can streamline and automate IT contract analytics regarding financial data, budgets, contract lifecycle processes, contract management KPIs, employee contract personnel, bid and vendor information, contract obligations, contract compliance, key dates, and much more.

An easy-to-navigate contract financials page can provide a comprehensive yet straightforward financial summary report for each of your IT contracts.  Contract financials pages on advanced IT CLM solutions can include basic contract details and critical contract data at a glance, such as:

  • total sum of contract transactions.
  • total sum of contract expenses.
  • total contract budget amount.
  • total contract budget amount remaining.
  • total percentage of a contract budget that has been used.

CobbleStone Software offers contract financials summary reports.

Your organization can configure your IT contract management system and set budget thresholds for contracts.  For instance, you can configure a notification so that a given IT contract's owner is alerted once more than 80 percent of that contract’s budget has been used.

In addition to reporting on IT contract financial data for a specific contract, your organization can also configure reports around contract financials of all contracts within the IT contract management software system.  You can set these reports to run by categories such as contract type, contract department, counterparty, and many others.

You can utilize a trusted IT contract management software solution for next-level IT contract analytics.  For instance, executive graphical dashboards can positively transform contract analytics with heightened visual engagement and organization.

Executive graphical dashboards with leading IT contract lifecycle management software can include eye-grabbing and easily navigable dashboard reports for:

  • Contracts KPI (shown below).
  • Contracts Overview.
  • Counts by Department.
  • Legal.
  • Vendor Management.
  • Year Analysis.
  • Bids Overview.

CobbleStone Software offers executive graphical dashboards.

You can also take advantage of user-friendly IT contract management reports such as:

  • custom and ad-hoc reports.
  • reports for CLM and ROI benchmarks.
  • online contract management reports for collaboration, sharing, and review.
  • reports for rules and user permissions oversight.
  • reports for contract compliance.
  • reports for performance tracking.
  • reports for workflow efficiency.
  • and so much more.

# 3 - Centralize Contract Lifecycle Management

Your organization should put its trust into a game-changing solution that saves time, decreases costs, boosts revenue, and provides an efficient, low-friction, and scalable IT contract management process for oversight of the entire IT contract lifecycle.  As such, your organization needs IT contract lifecycle management software.

 

Your organization needs the only IT contract management software solution that offers all of the abovementioned tools - such as powerful contract intelligence, user-friendly IT contract searching and reporting, and more.  That solution is CobbleStone Contract Insight®.

CobbleStone Software's leading IT contract management, vendor management, eProcurement, and eSourcing software suite - CobbleStone Contract Insight - is the one and only software solution on the market that offers the tools mentioned above and complete contract lifecycle management tools - including:

  • automated IT contract request procedures.
  • simplified IT contract writing that supports seamless merging of IT contracts with templates from your organization's pre-approved clause library.
  • a unified process for IT contract negotiation, IT contract collaboration, IT contract review, IntelliSign® electronic signatures, and IT contract approval routing.
  • centralized IT contract analytics and compliance and obligations tracking.
  • automated key date alerts and notifications – such as those for seamless IT contract renewal.
  • robust risk management, risk mitigation, and risk analysis tools.
  • straightforward workflow configuration and tracking for specific IT contract types – in addition to virtually any other type of contract.
  • & more.

Make Your Case for Contract Lifecycle Management

Given all of the visionary IT contract management best practices that organizations can strongly adhere to with CobbleStone Contract Insight, It’s no wonder why Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM software!

Discover why thousands of contract managers from a vast array of industries trust CobbleStone® with their IT contract management procedures and so many other orocesses.  To learn more about CobbleStone’s unparalleled contract management software, book a free demo with a Contract Insight expert today!

To stay up to date on best practices, industry news, and CobbleStone Software updates, be sure to subscribe to our blog and YouTube Channel.

CobbleStone Software hosts its 2021 Contract Management Free Seminar Virtual "Roadshow."

Sean Heck

Written by Sean Heck

Sean Heck is Content Marketing Team Lead at CobbleStone Software

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