Top 7 Contract Management Tips for IT Managers

Topics: Contract Management Software, information technology, IT

Written by Lindsey Paulk

IT managers play an important role in several distinctive operations in every business. By attaining proper knowledge of all-things contract management, your organization’s IT manager can be better equipped to meet certain contract management-related needs. Information technology professionals often have quite the limited training and education in contract management, which makes perfectly valid sense.

However, because contract management has grown in importance and because the volume of contracts that a company receives can grow at exponentially rapid rates, it's necessary for everyone within an organization to have a basic understanding of some fundamental contract management skills. Thus, the majority of today's IT managers are being trained in contract management so that they can help pursue company goals as a team. IT managers can play at helpful role in overseeing an organization's contract management processes. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most necessary skills for IT managers to learn in terms of contract management.

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Here are 7 of the top contract management tips for information technology professionals.

#1 Have a Basic Understanding of Legal Terminology

As an IT manager, you will likely find yourself reading different types of contracts during the contracting process. We highly suggest spending time understanding some fundamental legal definitions and terms that are commonly associated with contract lifecycle management.

For example, you might start by learning about the legal implications of acceptances and offers, both of which are required to design a legally binding contract. In addition, we suggest taking a moment to review the Statute of Frauds. The purpose of the Statute of Frauds is to prevent individuals or parties from fraudulently stating or making the claim that a contract has been created, when no such written legal agreement exists. And to round out your legal knowledge, we think becoming a bit more familiar with types of clauses commonly found in legal agreements would be extremely conducive to your success. In business contracts specifically, you will often find indemnity clauses, benchmarking clauses, and liability clauses among various other clause types.

#2 Assess The Legal Implications of Your Role and Communicate With Your Team to Gain Clarity

By signing a contract, you are making the decision to willingly enter a legally binding agreement with another party. Be sure you confidently understand the influence of this concept and how your signature on a single contract can impact your company. Stay in communication with your organization’s legal department if you have any lingering questions regarding contracts and their execution.

We recommending seeking advice from counsel when determining whether or not to sign a legal agreement. To this end, it’s important to stay aware of changes made to a contract. If the counterparty has changed a contract, then they may be attempting to include certain provisions in the document that shift liability. By doing so, there is a significant increase in risk that could result in major losses to your company.

Contract management is a process that requires skillfulness, accuracy, and expert levels of attention to detail. You will find that some of the best contract managers to collaborate with are both powerful communicators and experts in efficiency, where they can communicate and collaborate with employees and different departments across the company or negotiate with counterparties outside with agility and professionalism at all times.

#3 Create an Organized System For Yourself To Operate From

If you are tasked with overseeing numerous signed and fully executed contracts, the most necessary thing to do at the beginning of managing them is to organize them effectively. While this concept is clearly simple, it’s something that is often overlooked by several businesses who simply crumble under the pressure produced by an exorbitant volume of complex contracts coming their way each day. Managing the entire lifecycle of one contract takes several actions and a lot of time and care, so imagine how difficult managing thousands of contracts would be with an unorganized, disconnected approach.

Traditional, manual contract management is where you use filing cabinets and a paper system of physical copies of contracts and related documents. In a manual contract management system, you have to rely on physical storage and you must track contracts that are removed and returned to the contract storage location before and after they move through their lifecycle to different geographical locations. Storing contracts on shared drives and servers is increasingly risky, as these digital folders can be bombarded with various draft versions and other documents that make it extremely difficult to conduct a simple search. To have the most organized contract management system possible, you must have a contract management team that possesses strong organization skills and you must have a contract management software solution that automates tasks and contract lifecycle workflows.

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#4 Control Contract Accessibility

Only select contributors and stakeholders should have access to contracts. With role-based access and user permissions, you can select who is able to review and edit certain contracts. Many contracts contain highly sensitive and confidential client information that parties wish to remain undisclosed.

Consider an employee agreement for example. In an employee agreement contract, there are specific employment terms and policies between the business and the employee that must remain confidential. In addition, this type of agreement will also contain confidential salary figures that should not be shared.

By properly setting limitations on who can and cannot access contracts, you increase security and you protect contracts from damage. However, many employees often need to refer back to contracts so they can review important terms regarding their roles and responsibilities within the company. This might look like refreshing your memory on performance and quality requirements that are contained in a specific section or clause of a contract.

With an appropriate level of contract access and visibility, you can help employees swiftly access the right contracts at the right times so they can optimally perform their roles within the organization. With the help of a dedicated contract lifecycle management system, you can use software features to control the access of contracts efficiently.

#5 Use Advanced Technology and Effective Contract Management Skills Together For Better Results

As an information technology professional, you most certainly are an expert in all-things technology. So, you may be familiar with the concept of contract automation. By automating contract lifecycle workflows, you provide the company’s contract management system with a systematized and reliable pathway for contracts to follow. This gives your organization a competitive advantage by increasing the power and productivity of your contracting processes at large, resulting in maximized returns on investment and a decrease in unnecessary expenses.

Here at Dock, we provide you with a centralized, cloud-based contract repository built into your SharePoint and Office 365. All of your company’s contracts are stored in this one central location that allows access from digital devices at any time, any place. Equipped with filtered, advanced search functions, you can find a single clause or contract instantly with speed.

#6 Consistently Monitor and Track Important Deadlines

Overseeing all upcoming deadlines, expiration dates, and auto renewal dates can prove to be a challenging task when your organization regularly oversees a multitude of highly complex contracts. Keeping up with payment due dates and task deadlines can be incredibly simple with the right contract management software. As an IT manager, we suggest keeping tabs on upcoming deadlines such as automatic renewal dates and termination dates, as these can lead to serious financial consequences when missed.

Dock 365 monitors every important date and allows you to enable automated reminders and notifications for your employees so that everyone can stay proactive and in the loop on upcoming expirations and more. Now, you’ll never have sweat missing a critical due date, and instead, you’ll be more than prepared.

#7 Implement Powerful Security Measures and Results-Driven Integrations

Dock 365 provides your contract management processes with several intelligent security features that ensure your company’s data is secured and can be seamlessly integrated into your company’s technology that will help drive business results. With features like audit trails and cloud security, you’ll keep your business protected.

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Conclusion

We hope this served as a useful guide for any IT professional looking to get started in using their skills to aid in contract lifecycle management. Here at Dock, we are experts in SharePoint and Office 365 and want to help business utilize their features to revolutionize and streamline contract management. Our Contract Management System is equipped with several amazing features that will help improve the quality of your contract management processes with the help of a SharePoint and Office 365-based collaborative software interface. Improve business dealings, increase contract compliance, reduce bottlenecks and turnaround times, enhance risk mitigation efforts, and completely overhaul contract management team productivity for the better with our contract management software.

Ready to get started today? Reach out to us to learn more about our  Dock 365 Contract Management System.

If you would like more information, we welcome you to schedule a free demo with us today.

 

 

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