There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right contract management system for your business. You want software that fits all of your needs, especially the needs of your contract management team. You need flexibility. But you also need security. Start your search by reading our comprehensive guide to selecting the contract management software that best fits your business. One of the most valuable attributes your contract management software can possess is cloud storage. Cloud-based software and data storage for your contract management system offers a number of essential advantages that your business cannot afford to ignore. Here are five:
1. You get a centralized contract database.
In many offices, trying to find one contract or one key document is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The problem is even worse if you have multiple offices across the country. While you may have a great filing system, you may struggle to figure out how to find exactly the information you need, when you need it. Digital data may be easier to copy and share, but it’s also more difficult to find. So compile it all on the cloud where you can search through every document record with any type of metadata.
For example, you may have several versions of a contract stored on different systems. Depending on who last dealt with the contract and what they needed, the contract might be a Word document, a PDF, or an unopened email attachment. It could be locally stored on a device, somewhere in an Outlook archive, or attached to a CRM account. Even worse, you might not be sure who, exactly, has the most recent save file for a specific document or contract. With a cloud-based data management solution, all your data is located in one place, and it’s a place that can easily be searched at need. Centralization solves several pain points, especially when it comes to keeping up with your own procurement contracts.
2. With cloud-based software, you can easily determine which version of a contract you’re working with.
Cloud-based software brings backup opportunities that you might not get from older, more traditional document storage options. In the past, you may have had to overwrite former versions of your contracts every time you created a new one. Older systems also have less storage space — you couldn’t save every redlined version and contract draft. With cloud-based software and data storage, on the other hand, you can easily go back to a previous version of a contract. This can be incredibly valuable if you decide to go back to a previous version during the negotiation process. In fact, version control is one of the eight most important aspects of contract management.
You can also see who made specific changes to a contract. Keep track of changes that your team and your customer make every step of the way. Then, you can easily fix any problems that may arise during the negotiation process. Cloud-based solutions can also help you control who accesses your data. Employees without permission won’t be able to make changes to key documents.
3. Cloud-based storage solutions allow for remote access.
You never know when your team will need to work from somewhere that isn’t the office. Sometimes, your sales team may need to open a contract while on-site with a potential new customer. In other cases, a member of your contract management team may need to work from home for the day. With a cloud-based storage solution, you can allow remote access to your data. This includes current contracts, templates, and even virtual signing options that will make contract management and execution easier than ever.
Not only that, remote access means that if something happens to your physical office location, you will still have access to those vital contracts and your other documents. Keep your unscheduled downtime to a minimum by accessing vital business functions from anywhere. Since your storage isn’t dependent on that physical location, your employees can work from anywhere, making cloud-based contract management and data storage ideal for disaster recovery.
4. Many cloud-based storage solutions offer additional security.
Security has become a key area of importance for many small and medium businesses over the last several years. 58% of cybercrime victims are now small businesses, or businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Small businesses often have less money to invest in cybersecurity solutions, which can leave them more vulnerable. As a result, they’re more attractive targets for hackers. Cloud-based storage solutions, including contract management solutions, often bring higher levels of security along with them. Not only that, they can send that security with them wherever your employees are accessing your systems. Every edit, open file, and download is tracked. The portal itself is protected by passwords.
5. Cloud-based storage is as flexible as your business.
Your business is constantly changing. You may have periods of rapid growth or periods where you need to scale back your business as a whole. Your contract management solution needs to keep up with your business and stay on track with your data needs. You don’t want to suddenly discover that you don’t have enough storage available to keep track of your current contract database. However, you don’t want to have to pay for expensive servers and storage that you aren’t using. Cloud-based storage offers the ideal solution, since you can easily scale it to the current needs of your business. Are you ready to choose a new contract management solution for your business? Consider the benefits of a cloud-based solution that will enhance security and accessibility for your entire company. Contact ContraxAware to make it easier to keep up with the files and contracts you manage every day.