Are you ready to ride the wave and convert to using cloud contract management systems? By 2021, 94% of enterprises will already be using a cloud service (whether private or public). Plus, the cloud transition has also been further accelerated by the pandemic – so here’s our guide to the pros and cons of cloud contract management, and some cloud management solutions you could consider.
Note: Our full guide to contract management software is also worth checking out here (link opens in a new window).
What Is Cloud Contract Management?
Cloud contract management refers to the use of a cloud-based tool like Contract Hound to manage your contract lifecycle and approval processes. This is in contrast to using spreadsheets or other methods such as filing systems.
Why You Should Implement Cloud Contract Management
- Greater efficiency – A good cloud contract management platform allows you to expedite transactions and boost productivity. It can simplify and shorten your contract management and approval processes, increasing the turnover of your contract closeouts. With a centralized platform as your contract repository, your employees will save time previously spent on searching through files and documents to find the data they need.
- Get notifications on updates and renewals – By automating notifications and reminders for key milestones such as renewal dates and payments, you remove the risk of employees forgetting important dates. This will help in preventing overspending, making accidental or delayed payments or even missing out on key renewal dates.
- Easy to set up – Create an account, pay for the subscription fee, and you can get started straight away.
- Better scalability of operations – Every employee gets shared access to the files stored in the cloud. As such, contract templates and documents are standardized. With cloud contract management, you can remove limits associated with the physical size of your server environment that is stopping business growth.
- Lower total cost of ownership – Paying a monthly subscription fee to use an automated, cloud-based contract management platform is more affordable than developing a platform in-house or using a spreadsheet that takes time to manually update.
- Greater security – Cloud contract management providers are responsible for keeping client data safe and protected from threats. They invest heavily into reliable and secure infrastructure to cater to their consumers needs. A cloud contract management solution will be better equipped to ensure your data security as compared to an on-premise solution.
- Compatible with e-signatures and many other apps (Slack, Google Drive, Salesforce, etc.) – With a cloud contract management solution, cross-functional teams can work together and communicate more conveniently. Teams can also chat internally within the platform about the document itself, to avoid miscommunications. With Contract Hound’s integration with DocuSign, you can sign contracts electronically anywhere and any time, speeding up your contract approval processes.
Cloud Contract Management Solutions VS. On-Premise Solutions
In this section of the article, we will be sharing reasons why cloud contract management solutions are preferred over on-premise solutions.
- Lower implementation costs – Contract Hound costs much less than on-premise solutions. All you have to do is get a subscription,and use the platform through a desktop browser and install it on all the systems that your company owns.
- Regular updates and upgrades – SaaS solutions perform regular maintenance and feature updates to keep the platform bug-free. As such, you do not need to expend resources maintaining the cloud platform.
- Lower inherent risks taken on by your company – When you opt for a third party cloud provider, you are usually given the option between a monthly or yearly contract/subscription plan. Hence, when you want to terminate the subscription or switch providers, you do not need to pay for unused capacity.
In comparison, for on-premise solutions, you do not have the flexibility to opt out so easily. This is because of the infrastructure and resources already invested into the development of the cloud, and it would not be advantageous to back out.
- Predictability of costs – New or small businesses have a strict budget that is planned early on in the financial year. By choosing to go with a cloud solution, you know how much you will incur each month to adopt the third party service, as compared to an on-premise solution. This allows business owners to plan ahead and ensure a healthy cash flow for business sustainability.
7 Cloud-Based Contract Management Systems To Consider
Before that, what should you look for when choosing the platform that’s right for you? Here are some elements we have identified:
- Intuitive user interface that is easy to navigate.
- Centralized platform that allows cross-functional teams to access latest versions of documents in one location.
- Data security.
- Ability to automate notifications and reminders on key milestones.
- Integration of e-signatures.
- Compatibility with external tools such as Slack, Google Drive, Salesforce, etc.
You can read our full guide to contract management software here.
Now that you know what to look out for in a cloud-based contract management system, here are some cloud solutions that we have shortlisted:
- Contract Hound: With affordable pricing that scales to match your business needs, Contract Hound is the perfect cloud contract management solution for small businesses.
- Ease of document upload through drag and drop functions.
- Never miss another key milestone such as renewal or payment deadlines! Notifications and reminders can be set and automated in advance to prevent overspending, accidental payments, missing renewal deadlines, etc.
- Owners can delegate rights to each document and employees can see who has access to each document.
- In-app chat platform.
- DocuSign integration enables e-signatures in your contract approvals.
- Gatekeeper: An AI-driven centralized contract management solution designed for contract data and analytics.
- Automated workflow engine that provides you with a visual representation of your contract lifecycle.
- Has dedicated integrations with specific tools such as Salesforce, and various single sign-on options with Google, Microsoft, etc.
- Enterprise-grade security.
- Fully searchable audit trail and seamless integration.
- PandaDoc: A web-based document creation software that is widely adopted by businesses for document building, sharing and delivery. Unlike Contract Hound, PandaDoc does not have a CRM platform for contract management.
- Has advanced analytics features to provide real-time analysis of your proposals.
- Comes with a library of templates and content blocks to reduce your document creation time.
- Has a built-in e-signature function for streamlined contract approval processes.
- Juro: A centralized contract automation solution that facilitates collaborative workflows while acting as a contract repository.
- Has a built-in workflow builder such that tasks can be assigned and you know who is in charge of which activity.
- Has external tools integrated such as Slack, Salesforce, Google drive, etc.
- Collects data to present your with analytics throughout your contract lifecycle. E.g., average review time, hot negotiation points, number of key dates in the current month, etc.
- IBM Emptoris: A sub-product line by IBM, offering tools and features to deal with contract-related processes via a single system.
- Has contract performance, monitoring and analysis functions available.
- Can also be used as a centralized contract repository.
- Platform allows users to create, approve, negotiate, execute and amend contracts.
- SAP Ariba: This cloud solution is mainly used as a procurement platform, but can also double as a contract lifecycle management system.
- Simple installation process requiring no additional expensive hardware or software.
- Has a user-friendly interface such that no additional training is required for your employees.
- Compatible and can be integrated to any existing enterprise resource planning or back-office system.
- Contract Works: An intuitive system that adopts AI and other advanced automation features to improve your contract management processes.
- Has 24/7 customer support available.
- Has a library of standard templates available where you only need to fill in the missing information before sending it out for approval.
- AI powered smart document tagging feature that speeds up your contract processing and search for documents within the database.
Looking For A Cloud Contract Management System For Your Business? Check Out Contract Hound Today!
Cloud contract management systems are a game changer in today’s business environment. Hence, the immense number of businesses already adopting some form of cloud services is evident. If you’d like to find out more about how Contract Hound can help you leverage cloud technology to stay ahead of the competition, you can contact us here.