Business units and IT departments are often seen as being at odds with each other within the enterprise. While employees want fast, cutting-edge solutions that can help them do their work more efficiently, information technology workers are sometimes seen as overly conservative and out of touch with the needs of business users.
But as the gatekeepers of company technology, achieving IT buy-in is a crucial step in implementing any new solution that is aimed at improving business results – and contract management software is no exception. One way to improve the alignment between business and tech teams is by understanding and championing the ways a solution can alleviate existing IT pain points. Here are five reasons contract management software specifically can also bring about improvements to your company’s IT department.
Pain Point #1: Configuring Software/Open Source Solutions
Not all software solutions require equal effort to deploy, and differences between types of solutions can affect the amount of work required from your IT teams. For example, if your software solution is locally installed, then IT must first procure licenses for everyone who will be using it, and then establish a schedule for installing it onto every user’s machine. Requiring even more work and complexity than installed software is open source software which, though free and somewhat customizable, is more cumbersome to install and maintain. To use open source software, IT must take the available code and configure it for your system before it can be used. IT employees must also perform all ongoing maintenance, including employing preventative security measures, on an ongoing basis.
Cloud-based contract management software, a type of software as a service (SaaS) solution, improves upon these pain points because it requires no IT setup – all users have to do once they have been added to the platform is log on from a browser window on any device.
Pain Point #2: Setting Up New Users
Whether due to new employees, internal job changes that require new tools, or other factors, IT personnel spend a lot of time managing users long after a new software solution has been deployed. But user functions for contract management software need not flow through IT. Instead, administrative user roles allow your business to determine the most appropriate person to handle tasks such as adding new users and configuring permission levels. In the case of contract management, that person may sit within the contract management team, as these employees would have the clearest visibility into who will require access to specific contracts.
Pain Point #3: Managing Budgets
Balancing budgets, keeping spending predictable and managing unexpected costs can be a headache for leaders across business lines – and IT is no exception. When it comes to managing technology, issues such as under-provisioning can unexpectedly increase expenditures and result in unwanted surprises at the end of the month. Contract management software can help keep IT budgets manageable and predictable, but only if you choose right and select an option that offers unlimited storage and user licenses at a flat rate. Large companies may have tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of contracts in their portfolios – all-in contract management software can significantly reduce the cost associated with securely storing these critical documents.
Pain Point #4: Security
As data breaches and other forms of cybercrime grow ever more prevalent and extensive, security has become more than a pain point – it’s enough to keep IT up at night. Security is especially important when it comes to contracts, which often contain highly-sensitive information including intellectual property, trade secrets and customer information (some of which may be subject to compliance regulations). The problem is many non-dedicated contract management solutions, such as Excel spreadsheets, are not inherently secure.
You can ease some of IT’s headaches around this highly important consideration by selecting cloud-based contract management software with state-of-the-art security features. Looking for a solution that offers encryption, certified data centers, 24/7 monitoring, and multi-site redundancy will satisfy IT’s requirements and reduce the pain of having to secure a custom or ad hoc contract management solution.
Pain Point #5: Shift in Job Focus
Just like everyone else in the enterprise, IT teams are increasingly stretched. In the case of technical personnel, employees are increasingly being pressed to grow value outside of areas that are related to the delivery of IT. A survey of CIOs from Gartner found this imperative to be common among 84 percent of tech leaders, with many being pushed to drive innovation and transformation within their businesses.
Implementing contract management software can achieve these goals in two ways. For starters, choosing the right software can improve many of the pain points inherent to other solutions, lessening the burden of delivering basic IT services. But as contract management software can deliver benefits that go far beyond the technicalities of managing contracts, helping businesses to drive higher value out of their contracts and reducing business risks, employing such solutions can help IT staff achieve this higher objective.