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Time to reboot and apply contract intelligence

Coronavirus chaos has brought into sharp focus what is essential: humanity needs to press the reset button, embrace technology and work collaboratively to build a brighter future, says Jenny Hotchin, legal practice lead at iManage

The COVID-19 pandemic may have locked down the world, but paradoxically it has liberated our thinking. As we all become more appreciative of the preciousness of life, there is a growing sense that this is a unique opportunity to regroup, reboot and revamp.

Moreover, it is the perfect time for organisations to establish teams, processes and technology that are better placed to respond to the immediate situation and can shore up their defences. How can technology be applied and how can the focus be shifted so businesses plan for the future and not just the day-to-day operation?

Now is a great chance to look further ahead than tomorrow and work towards improving performance across the organisation. Some legal and procurement teams, scrambling to reorganise and adjust to home working, have struggled to respond to the extreme level of contract disruption. When budgets are being cut, deploying armies of professionals and externalising work is not a feasible long-term solution.

Many of our clients, though, have been able to make the switch to remote working quickly as they have had the fundamentals in place, such as modern document management. It is  evident that it is simply not possible to deliver the speed, accuracy and agility required to support business-critical, decision-making processes without leveraging data using the appropriate technology, including artificial intelligence (AI). iManage data

Indeed, an International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) report highlights that in the month from March 9, to April 9, the percentage of organisations reporting moderate to severe impact on contract performance rose from 37 per cent to 78 per cent.

Furthermore, according to the IACCM data, more than half the respondents (55 per cent) regard the importance of contract management automation as being either a four or five out of five, in terms of business criticality (with 5 being business critical). Of those respondents who don’t currently use automation in their contract management, just over 50 per cent said the current situation with COVID-19 makes deployment of such capabilities imminent.

At iManage, a leading technology supplier to the legal and professional services market for the last 25 years, we can help. With iManage RAVN, a cutting-edge legal AI engine, we can transform how organisations review and manage their contracts, supercharging levels of efficiency and getting an accurate understanding of the risks and opportunities across their contract portfolio.

AI offers speed, scale and accuracy, and frees people to focus more on aspects of their job that they relish and provide value. I’m excited we are giving them access to data insights that drive better decision-making and in turn improve overall satisfaction. AI should not be a reactionary measure to one-off events. It should be incorporated into core business strategy and made part of overall business processes.

At iManage, which has attracted more than 3,500 customers, we have a global team of lawyers who have spent many years working at top law firms. We are also data savvy, so know how best to utilise the RAVN engine. There is such a massive opportunity to augment our lives with tech and I urge decision-makers to let AI solutions reduce the pressure piled on by the COVID-19 fallout.

Many tech providers and law firms are pointing to force majeure, but the response to COVID-19 needs to be more than that. Organisations need tools at their fingertips which are adaptable to the changing landscape within which we operate.

Those seeking pragmatic solutions with customers will be interested in change control provisions and payment terms. Those looking to diversify their supply chain will want to know the position on exclusivity and intellectual property.

Organisations are also seeking to complete contract portfolio analysis without necessarily diving into a particular contract, for example aggregate liability exposure. The RAVN engine provides the flexibility to change the scope of the contract review and build ever-increasing contract intelligence.

Above all else, it’s imperative to acknowledge the entire world is suffering. We need to think about pragmatic solutions that can heal and help everyone continue to do better business. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to collaborate and drive improvements. At iManage we are committed to supporting our customers in working through the current situation and developing paths for the future.

For more information please visit www.imanage.com/contract-intelligence

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