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Will robots replace Contract Managers?

January 7, 2019

If your job involves writing, negotiating or managing contracts, should you be worried about automation?

IACCM set out to answer that question by first analyzing the major tasks associated with contract management, then exploring how new technologies are starting to impact them. The conclusions – shared in a new thought-leadership paper – are that there will be fundamental changes to today’s procedures and extensive opportunities for new sources of value-add. That means significant change to the nature of the role and the skills needed for its performance.

One of the most significant points to come from the research is the extent to which so much legal and contract work is highly repetitive, yet practitioners delude themselves into thinking each situation is unique and requires human judgment. Substantial workload is generated by things like inconsistent terminology or personal preferences that determine contract structure. Machines quickly spot similarities that are invisible to the human eye. Modern systems are also more objective and are happy to work 24 hours a day, undertaking tasks such as performance monitoring and automated payments.

In a webinar last week, I co-presented on this topic with IACCM CEO Sally Hughes. Many found it helpful, giving them greater understanding of both the speed and nature of the changes automation is bringing. Some, however, remain in denial. One webinar attendee made the comment “There was too much about technology”.

The webinar and the research paper are both available on the IACCM website.

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One Comment
  1. Erik Nordling permalink

    The repetitive part of contracting will, and must, be reduced. However, ”copy paste” is not the way, technology is. The big challenge is the transparency (or lack of transparency) in implementation of such technology. What norms and values are embedded, by whom and for what reason??
    New technologies can bring tremendous value but can also be excellent tools in repression, criminality and much worse. There is a big task for all of us here!!

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