Contract Management Observations: Legal Operations

Legal ops professionals want to know they bridge the gap between what Legal Tech can do and what legal teams must do to make it work.

As we help legal teams empower the business, improve efficiency and drive broader value, we continue to make great strides to dig deeper into the legal ops role. Our goal is to continue delivering a best-in-class approach, so staying at the forefront of contract management, legal tech and legal operations is critical to us. 

We’ve rounded up our observations and insights from many of the pivotal conversations we had in 2022, and how the right contract management approach and technology can propel organizations to new heights. 

Contract Management: Not A Legal-Exclusive Problem

One key observation we find from talking with legal ops professionals is the great interest in how other companies are solving their day-to-day challenges — as they bridge the gap between what Legal technology can do and what legal teams must do (to make it work!). In the search for contract management solutions, Legal teams can often get caught up in only focusing on improving legal efficiency or legal-centric challenges. Because of this focus, legal tech conversations typically rely on Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) as the solution to fix only legal-specific problems rather than a solution for the company as a whole. 

Why the emphasis? Legal ops is a relatively new function, with limited political capital to influence their organization, meaning they need their legal team’s and leaders’ support to push through any company-wide initiatives. 

One essential challenge legal ops must solve is getting control over their contracts. And the biggest driver to getting buy-in is fast time-to-value: it’s all about the quick wins legal can deliver to get the sway needed to start pushing for broader tech shifts. But this is where the conversation often stalls. 

Our take: Legal teams may view contract management issues as a legal-specific problem. But the right solution can transform the entire organization. 

Automating NDAs

Automating NDAs is another big conversation point. The topic has legal ops professionals excited about the “quick win” aspect of CLMs.

Although legal ops professionals are laser-focused on solving the problems of the legal team specifically, NDA automation notably benefits sales departments as well: automation allows them to bypass Legal and get NDAs signed more rapidly.

But while NDA automation does give legal ops a quick win to present to their legal department, it doesn’t act as a real business case for ROI. This is where we believe contract migration and data visibility can enter the conversation in a big way (think revenue-generating contracts)! 

Our take: Automating NDAs may be helpful, but that’s a narrow perspective: in reality, the right solution stretches far beyond NDAs and delivers business-wide value. 

Strategic value: Impact far beyond legal ops

Quick wins are essential. And as we continue to engage with legal ops professionals, we’re hungry to see the conversation gain traction towards finding quick wins that also provide longer-term, strategic value. We believe there’s a better way (a radically simple way!) to approach contract management. But what we see over and over again is a gap between Legal Tech tools and reliable, accurate contract data that many organizations end up supplementing (or fixing!) with internal or external data extraction and review teams. 

Demonstrable wins, like automated NDAs, can be a significant driving force for companies agreeing to invest in a CLM system because they show quick results with low risk. Yet legal ops professionals know how vital legacy contract migration and visibility into their contracts is. This need for a more strategic solution that shows quick wins AND broader, longer-term value is surprisingly absent in the sessions and conversations at the events we’ve attended—something we are on a mission to change. 

Our take: Quick wins are great, but they’re just quick wins. The CLM conversation ought to stretch much further—because purposeful, focused contract management can drive long-term, strategic value.

Proving value beyond Legal: How Legal Operations teams can drive organizational impact

The era of AI-powered CLM solutions has excellent appeal for expediency and efficiency. But it fails to address the needs of contract management after the signature where 90% of the contract lifecycle happens! Manual cleanup? Data tagging? Missed project timelines? An incomplete contract repository? Missed renewals? The list of headaches never ends. 

This is where legal ops can demonstrate the value of collaborative contract intelligence as a vital aspect of a Legal Tech investment for the entire organization. Pramata’s human-assisted AI model creates a seamless user experience and empowers businesses to drive greater profitability and reduced risk. 

We love attending and hosting events (in person and virtual alike!) where we can engage with professionals in the legal ops ecosystem. See where we’re headed next—we’d love to meet you. But meanwhile, we remain on the front lines of the contract management conversation. If you’re interested in seeing our proven approach to contract management now, sign up for a custom demo to see if Pramata is right for you.

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