Creating a contract system that manages legal work is a challenge, as the ebb and flow of legal work can be very unpredictable. Inevitably, you will be faced with times when you will see a sudden increase in contract activity, whether it is due to regulatory changes, major agreements or something else. Are you ready to handle the waves of work when they arise?
Four experts gathered recently to discuss this challenge at a World Commerce and Contracting event. Among them are Marcelo Peviani, Senior Director of Global Legal Services at VMware, Jean Yang, Vice President of Onit AI Center of Excellence and Matt DenOuden, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Onit. Together, they discussed the best way for businesses to prepare for sudden increases in workload by planning ahead and implementing a contracting system and technologies.
Start at base camp for your digital transformation
When it comes to digital transformation and preparation for peak workloads, the panel compared the journey to climbing a mountain. You can think of your preparation stage as the base camp of your ascension, while a full tech implementation is the peak.
They advised legal professionals to start by establishing a technology roadmap that takes into account the value you want the company’s legal department to bring to the business and where you want to be in a year or two. Whether or not you have a specific current need or if you plan to implement contract lifecycle management software in the future, it’s essential to start the conversation today.
Too many companies are trying to implement forensic contract AI and other technologies in response to events that occur. Unfortunately, this rarely succeeds. Implementation takes time and digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. You need time to experiment and engage your champions before you can deploy your contract system across the enterprise. Even if you’re not looking to deploy right away, you want to start setting the posture for an easy transition to automation as soon as possible and start engaging your stakeholders now.
The base camp of your digital journey is where your ascent is organized. Your team members all need to meet and you need to start creating a culture of success. When you are implementing digital transformation from scratch, you need to start by standardizing processes and technology for everyone involved. Determine your goals and the weak spots you want to alleviate, then define the roles that will be responsible or involved in getting your business going.
Scalable surges with a contract system
In terms of dealing with future contract increases, you need to consider the types of contracts that are an integral part of your business and the infrastructure, processes, and contracting system resources that support and drive this type of contract work. Legal departments increasingly play a central role in corporate governance and in setting standards for the transactions in which the company engages. The planning stage of your digital transformation is your opportunity to translate these standards into actual manuals and processes that will be implemented across the organization.
Once you know your goals, you can choose the contracting system and technologies that will help you achieve them. These solutions will play a key role in delivering contracts and other legal services to the business, either on a self-service basis or with document automation tools. It is essential to build this into the mindset of the business from the start.
Climb the peak with constant progression
Just like climbing a mountain, digital transformation involves constant progress. You need to constantly assess whether what you’re doing is working, whether you should continue with your current solutions, or whether you need to recalibrate your contract system to get different results. Any technological deployment must involve a process of experimentation. Your first try won’t be perfect, but it will get you on the path to creating a better contract system.
This is why the first implementation is always the most difficult. Once you have created a culture that is open to digital change, you can start to find more opportunities to generate value for the business. You’ll also be in a better position to know how to weather storms as you climb the mountain.
For more valuable insight into managing contract increases and contracting systems, as well as successful digital transformation (including examples from VMware’s own transformation journey), you can listen to the full webinar here. .