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Demand for Contract Management Software Is Surging. Don't Get Left Behind.

By Bernadette Bulacan

Last year, as companies responded to unprecedented disruptions, Icertis experienced an enormous surge in interest in our contract lifecycle management (CLM) software.

These companies needed to empower their remote workforce with digital contract technology and shore up critical business relationships defined by contracts—meaning CLM quickly emerged as a must-have technology for their organizations.

Now, Gartner has released a new report that quantifies this surge in interest around CLM. We believe the numbers are astounding: The global IT advisory firm saw a 40% increase in CLM inquiry volume in 2020, as described in the highly anticipated Critical Capabilities for Contract Life Cycle Management report.

"The sudden, dramatic impact of the pandemic on organizations' working environments increased the urgency for a solution that could provide structure for and visibility into enterprise contracts," Gartner reports.

We believe this report validates the value contract management software delivers to businesses across market segments as they prioritize high-performing digital processes and on-demand data. Importantly, this value will continue to grow long after the pandemic is past.

Benefits of CLM for business

The benefits of CLM extend well beyond contract processes themselves. That's because contracts span across organizations and extend into other processes.

"Contracts, regardless of type, rarely stand alone in an organization. They are an extension of a previously initiated process (such as an RFP or sales proposal) and govern the relationship between two parties for a period of time," Gartner reports. "Often, the ROI of a digital contract process is extended by integrating into other applications."

We believe as part of its study, Gartner cites improved process efficiency across sales, procurement, and legal processes, as well as lower third-party risk as specific benefits of CLM.

With the growth of any company comes added complexity—complexity that is especially pronounced in contracts. Companies are experiencing evolving levels of need regarding contract management as they first digitize contracts into a central system, then require escalating levels of functionality—from basic contract requests all the way to advanced contract analytics. As such, all organizations would benefit from having a CLM solution in place to improve process efficiency across sales, procurement, and legal.

Likewise, business improvements offered by a CLM solution help mitigate risk when dealing with third parties. The advanced contract analytics enabled by CLM platforms allow businesses and their potential partners to negotiate contracts more efficiently by comparing clauses, answering contract-related questions, and speeding up the overall time to signing.

These factors validate CLM as a "value lever" that injects speed and lowers risk in an organization—two C-suite-level imperatives in today's business climate.

Choosing a CLM vendor

When choosing a CLM system, Gartner recommends companies maximize return on their investment by ensuring a selected vendors' capabilities will be able to grow and mature alongside those of the client's business needs.

"Future-proof your CLM investment by evaluating vendors' capabilities, partners and roadmaps for advanced contract analytics during the CLM market assessment. As your program matures, so will your requirements," Gartner advises.

At Icertis, we believe that our industry-defining CLM technology combined with our unmatched ecosystem of business applications uniquely ensures that our contract management software can support teams' needs now and into the future. And with out-of-the-box localization and globalization capabilities, in addition to our industry-specific configurations, we're ready to support teams no matter where they do business.

That's why it was gratifying to see our platform recognized by Gartner.

Gartner scored Icertis in the top half of vendors for all use cases in their CLM study. According to Gartner, Icertis scored highest in Enterprise and Sales Use Cases and second highest in the Procurement and Legal Use Cases.

We believe, based on Gartner's analysis, our solution is best positioned to meet the requirements set forth in the report – namely a future-proof platform that can deliver value well beyond basic contract automation.

We also believe Gartner's latest report demonstrates that CLM is no longer just a "nice-to-have." Companies of all sizes are recognizing CLM is now a must-have. Just like any company with customers needs Customer Relationship Management (CRM), any company with contracts needs CLM.

To find out more about Gartner's insights into the need for CLM in the modern business world, access the report here.