Recently, IACCM and Revitas (a leading application provider) produced a webinar exploring the impact of digitization on contracts and contract management. It generated excellent questions - including the perhaps inevitable "Does this mean that people in sourcing and contract management will no longer have a job?"
The answer depends on our readiness to adapt. Digitization brings new discipline to activities that have traditionally been steeped in uncertainty and driven by individual judgment. Contracts are a case in point. They provide variable - and often unclear or ambiguous - guidance to those charged with fulfilling some particular set of obligations or objectives. Digitization promises to standardize terms and conditions in a way that speeds negotiation, production and dissemination of contracts.
Certainly this will empower business users because, before long, they will be able to enter parameters for their deal or relationship and generate a model agreement, with defined negotiable options and parameters. They will also operate independently of political geography or language.
So what is left?
Organizations will still need commercial policies and strategies. The terms they are willing to use must be supported by business capabilities or reflect business needs. The relationship types they offer must reflect business goals and market competition. Performance challenges - and opportunities - must be addressed. There are still many areas where judgment will be required - and those areas are where meaningful jobs will exist.