Do you use Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive for managing your contracts? Or has your company invested in systems like SharePoint? In this article, we’ll make an argument for having a dedicated contract management solution and saying goodbye to generic file management.
To start, using generic folder and file sharing tools and do-all DMS solutions like Sharepoint can be handy for both growth companies and established enterprises. If your contract management processes work very well with them, read no further.
However, too often these kinds of solutions try to do a bit of everything without excelling at anything.
Having a dedicated contract management system is the golden standard. These solutions are designed specifically to support the workflows for legal teams and anyone who works with contracts.
Are you still managing your contracts in Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive?
So, what’s wrong with Dropbox, OneDrive or Google? There’s much to love: they are easy to use, cost-efficient and integrate nicely with your PC or Mac. However, in the contract management context, they come with a lot of compromises.
For starters, consider search. It’s difficult to find just the right contract you are looking for. You really can’t properly use metadata to narrow your search. You have to click open documents to read a specific clause or chapter. Generally speaking, there’s just too much browsing and clicking.
Talking about metadata, many file sharing service users end up maintaining a separate Excel sheet for contract metadata, such as document names, contractual parties, and termination dates, for example.
More, you are missing out on things like automated notifications and active reminders of upcoming renewal dates or other responsibilities.
Finally, building and especially enforcing a shared process for contract management is difficult in an environment where you essentially cannot control what the users do.
What about managing contracts in Sharepoint?
If you are managing your contracts in Sharepoint, you have access to more flexibility and options. However, those options often come with a hefty price tag and, to be honest, much of the potential is never realized.
With Sharepoint, you can probably utilise enriched contract metadata on a document level. You also have more options to enforce specific workflows or processes. The search may also be a lot better compared to file management systems.
However, all of the above probably doesn’t work out of the box – you’ll need configuration and internal development effort. Also, as Sharepoint is very rarely sourced specifically for contract management purposes, you tend to end up using a feature-crowded system that essentially dictates your processes for you.
One of the top arguments in favor of Sharepoint is that you can use it without any apparent extra cost – after all, our organization already uses it. However, when you factor in the hours spent in cumbersome workflows and possible user frustration, you might find that the price tag is not the whole truth.
How can I move on to a better contract management solution?
If contract management in Sharepoint, Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive is giving you a headache, don’t worry – there are other options.
We warmly suggest that you’ll take a look at our migration guide How to Switch to a New Contract Management System in 2023. The guide will help you understand your current situation, identify your next steps and showcase what the market currently has to offer. See you there!
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