Contracting as a data center
Last week I was talking with an attorney at one of the top London law firms. He made the observation that ‘data centers lie at the heart of the new economy’.
it strikes me that the corollary of this is that those who own or manage those data centers – and consciously work on disseminating data that is of value to users – will be the beneficiaries of that economy.
Contracts – and the contracting process – offer a wealth of data, yet today it is typically not consolidated, let alone mined. There is a remarkable opening for those with the imagination to support data consolidation and mining, who commit to enabling others rather than acting purely as a point of control.
This is a far cry from where most contracts and commercial groups stand today. For example, in a recent roundtable discussion on ‘big data’, most of the contracts and legal executives protested that they are still too busy building systems to capture all their contracts; until then, they cannot focus on these grand ideas of analytics and using contracts as a driver for business performance.
I believe this is entirely the wrong focus. if they set the vision of contracting as a value-add data center, then issues such as compliance will become obvious imperatives. And the contracts function will be positioned to deliver real and sustainable business value as the driver of commercial competence.