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Will robots replace Contract Managers?

Posted by Tim Cummins | Jan 17, 2019 4:35:03 PM

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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