An IT department has many functions in an organization. While they may seem behind the scenes to an outside observer, you know they impact the contract management process. When a company has invested a contract management system, IT teams have many tools at their fingertips to help them do their jobs in an effective and timely fashion. In our guide to ContraxAware’s contract management software, we discuss how a smart system can benefit your whole company. The right contract management solution can help your internal teams, too. Some key functions of contract management software for IT departments include maintaining informational security, monitoring contracted support levels, and more. Here’s how your IT department can use enterprise contract management software to streamline their jobs.
1. Better Service Level Agreement (SLA) Monitoring
Many online service contracts include a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This document establishes how much uptime — or the minimum degree of service — customers can expect. For example, your company may maintain a 99.5% uptime in its standard SLA. This gives your company a margin for maintenance and unexpected downtime. But it also gives the customer confidence in the products and services.
After a contract has been executed, compliance teams and business representatives spend a great deal of time ensuring they are meeting their contractual obligations. This task is typically referred to as SLA monitoring. The team includes IT professionals who gather, analyze, and monitor large amounts of data to ensure the company is meeting customer expectations for service. Contract management systems center around a large database of current and former contracts with associated documents and client data. IT departments can more easily and quickly gather data from the system, allowing for better (SLA) monitoring. This gives stakeholders the information they need to make data-driven changes when issues emerge from the data. Specific SLA monitoring benefits of contract management software for IT departments include:
- Creating reports of customers who have SLAs.
- Creating reports of customers with non-standard SLAs and additional obligations.
- Tracking complaints, outages, and downtime.
- Maintaining communication with the appropriate customer representative over long-term contracts.
2. IT Contract Management
Depending on your business, some of your contracts might be specifically related to IT. In these situations, an IT contract management system allows those in the IT department to create workflows that assign tasks to team members. These can include service deliveries, maintaining support windows, or other aspects of the contract.
The IT team can also use legal contract management software to ensure the contract gets to relevant parties inside of the company for approval. For example, sales and finance teams may not know the extent of an IT obligation in a contract, so your IT team needs to communicate with them. IT teams can also play a role in approving it and deciding on any discounts.
Similarly, those in supervisory roles can create alerts to ensure team members meet any deadlines associated with the contract. IT-related contracts might bring an IT department into the complete contract life cycle by having the department monitor renewals and terminations.
3. Tracking Software Licenses
Another important function of an IT department is maintaining company software. When you have comprehensive contract management software for IT departments and procurement departments, you can better minimize the amount of money an organization needs to spend on software licensing. It’s likely one or more members of the IT team were part of the decision-making process concerning which software vendors to use. Including them in the contracting process, even if only for approval or review, streamlines the purchase and implementation.
When software licenses expire, software quits working completely or has reduced capabilities. That impacts productivity across an organization. The IT department can use their company’s enterprise contract management system to access vendor contracts and stay ahead of deadlines. They track software licenses from company vendors by setting reminders and alerts. This will ensure license renewals are seamless and don’t disrupt day-to-day operations (and that you aren’t paying for software you don’t need).
4. Easier Education Across the Company
One of the most important functions of a professional IT department is education. Professional users need to understand the technology they are using. This doesn’t mean having technical expertise. But your employees need to know how to recognize phishing schemes and the basics of your intranet. Education is especially important when a company purchases new technology or when they hire new employees who need training.
Contract management systems are intuitive and user-friendly. But having your IT team familiarize themselves with the core features, security procedures, and integrations reduces complications down the road. Also, IT team members can train others on the most common errors. This gives the department more time to focus on more valuable tasks. Even better, the IT department can further reduce the time they need to spend training others by creating concrete workflows and documents within the system for specific processes and tasks. For example, the IT team can put together a document that explains how to access a contract template or create a reminder or alert. This is much more efficient than holding training sessions and pulling employees away from their desks.
5. Increased Security
Cybercrimes have been on the increase in the last decade. Company contracts contain sensitive information, such as contact information, intellectual property, and trade secrets. When companies use traditional contract management solutions like documents and spreadsheets, thee risk a data breach because of poor security. Every privacy violation or even potential privacy violation causes a lot of work for IT teams.
Even without a disaster, it’s likely your IT team spends ample time and resources to protect company data. Using contract management software for IT departments — not just legal departments — provides increased security. ContraxAware, in particular, uses every advantage of encryption and a centralized cloud-based system to keep manual security obligations to a minimum. Also, cloud-based contract management software allows the IT department to track access automatically.
IT team members with administrator access can create and delete users. They can also set permissions within the system, ensuring departments and team members only have access to those things they need. This role-based access reduces the risk of a security violation from internal teams and former employees.
Better Contract Management Software for IT Departments Benefits Your Whole Company
Contract management systems provide IT and cybersecurity teams several ways to contribute to the contract life cycle. It also streamlines the performance of other functions throughout an organization. If you need smarter, more robust CLM software, ContraxAware is here to help. Contact us to learn more about how our software solutions can help your IT department and sign up for a free trial.