The Future of CLM: How In-House Counsel Teams Can Maximize the Strategic Value of Contract Management Programs

Choosing the right CLM provider image
The CLM landscape has hit an inflection point as contract management solutions have become cost prohibitive, taking too long to deploy and then failing to deliver once they are up and running.

The rapid acceleration of technology has had a massive impact on the CLM landscape. Contract management platforms have undergone an extraordinary evolution in recent years, with many solution providers promising the moon to in-house counsel teams. Unfortunately, a troublesome trend is happening within the contract management space: Technology solutions are becoming more expensive and taking longer to deploy, with many platforms suffering from “feature-bloat” – offering unnecessary and frequently unused functions that fail to align with strategic business goals. 

As a leader in the contract management space, we saw the beginnings of these disparities within our industry early on. Time and again, our customers told us that they needed radically simple contract management tools that could be implemented in an expedited manner. They needed solutions that would help maximize the value of their contract management programs to help drive their business forward.

Pramata Commissions Forrester Consulting to Get a Pulse on the CLM Industry

It’s one thing to know our industry’s pain points anecdotally – but having quantitative research that supports what we know to be true is a surefire way to help our customers and the wider community of in-house counsel teams. 

To better serve our industry and enable our customers to become true contract MVPs, we needed statistical data that backed up what we were seeing unfold across the CLM space. We commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a survey, including in-house counsel team members, asking CLM decision-makers a wide range of questions about their contract management technology. 

We wanted to discover how in-house counsel teams approached technology investments in an uncertain economic climate. What value was their CLM currently providing? And did it impact business units beyond the legal team? More importantly, what were their contract management goals and biggest challenges – and was their contract management platform delivering on these key business objectives?

The Step to Becoming a Contract MVP? Invest in the right CLM Solution

The results of the survey were eye-opening. Not only did the findings confirm our assumptions about the CLM landscape, but the data also made clear just how important it is to invest in an effective CLM solution as businesses face so many economic uncertainties. In-house counsel teams need technology that enables the legal department to be a key revenue driver, providing complete visibility into contract data. 

Contract MVPs understand the value of a contract management system that can improve commercial relationships, assess enterprise risk management, and deliver measurable financial insights. The unfortunate reality is that a staggering number of in-house counsel teams are disappointed in their CLM solutions – less than 30% of the survey respondents were satisfied with their CLM’s contract repository capabilities (28%), contract workflows (28%), contract negotiation (28%), and contract creation (25%). 

In addition to these shortcomings, in-house counsel teams are keenly aware of CLM’s darkside: cost-prohibitive platforms with too many bells and whistles that fail to deliver. They want solutions that impact more than the legal department’s day-to-day responsibilities. Contract MVPs need technology that helps advance procurement, finance and sales teams’ priorities.  

Pramata’s Forrester Consulting Study: Starting the Conversation on the Future of CLMs

Based on the Forrester Consulting research, commissioned by Pramata, the current state of contract lifecycle management programs are in high demand but the value prop of CLM solutions is evolving. Because budgets are being cut, in-house counsel teams are being forced to triage and prioritize their technology investments – in other words, solutions that fail to deliver on high-priority goals will be eliminated. 

Legal departments are searching for technology vendors focusing on usability and frictionless onboarding processes. They want CLM solutions that deliver a quicker time to value and get broader adoption across the organization. 

To dig deeper into the survey findings and help in-house counsel teams realize the full strategic value of their CLM solution, we hosted a webcast with ALM | Law.com. Our guest speaker, Forrester Senior Analyst Alla Valente joined me to present key insights from the study and share our take on what it all means for the industry. 

Watch the full webcast on demand: The Future of CLM: Realizing the Full Strategic Value of a CLM Solution.

This blog post is the first in a three-part series covering the Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Pramata: “Are you Maximizing The Strategic Value Of Your Contracts? How to Leverage Your Contract Lifecycle Management Technology to Drive Organizational Awareness and Holistic Business Value.” Be sure to check back in next week when we cover the challenges in-house teams face when trying to implement CLM technology.

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