Nondisclosure agreements, or simply, NDAs, are agreements between two or more acting parties that are used to ensure certain information will remain confidential. Today, they are an essential component of business relationships and are used by all departments. With so many forms readily available, most organisations are inundated with multiple versions of NDAs, each of which needs to be reviewed and tracked by the legal team to ensure compliance. To overcome these challenges, automated NDAs can solve these issues by simplifying and standardising the process. In this article, we will cover the following topics:
· What are NDAs?
· The downsides of NDAs for businesses
· Why automate the NDA process
· Save time, prevent errors and create NDAs in minutes
A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), like any other legally binding contract, is a legal contract establishing confidentiality between parties, commonly used in business transactions or collaborations. The primary purpose of an NDA is to protect your confidential and sensitive information from surfacing outside of a business relationship or transaction. From new clients to employees and vendors, NDAs maintain security and mutual confidence across a broad range of business relationships.
Designed to protect secrets, marketing initiatives, intellectual property, and other highly sensitive information. Today, they are essential to organisations. However, the process of managing an NDA throughout its lifecycle is often overlooked and is seen as a hindrance. This is why legal teams must implement an efficient and smooth NDA process.
While Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) provide a crucial shield for sensitive information, their application in business comes with consequential pitfalls. Here’s why:
NDAs are time-consuming! The cumbersome administrative load associated with monitoring and enforcing NDAs can siphon resources from core business functions. Each NDA requires legal review, and although relatively short documents, an NDA can take anything from a few hours to a few days to review. The further apart the NDA is from your standard position, the more carefully it must be reviewed. With most businesses dealing with a large volume of NDAs, manually managing and overseeing each one takes up a large amount of time from the legal department.
They’re unique. Every business is different, and its processes will vary from one to the next, including its boilerplate NDA template. But naturally, over time it may be amended, and with NDAs commonly being accessed by business stakeholders, they are often written using the older versions of the boilerplate. Despite their best efforts, legal teams are grappling with multiple versions of NDAs floating around their organisation.
The volume is increasing. The volume and complexity of legal matters have increased significantly in recent years. The legal team’s role has also expanded beyond traditional responsibilities, with basic tasks such as simple contract reviews dominating daily workloads and leaving little time for high-value, strategic work. With bigger workloads and fewer resources, it will be crucial for legal teams to find ways to do more with less. As a result, automating the NDA process looks to play a significant role in how legal teams improve efficiency and free staff from menial work.
Using software to automate the NDA process will address the major challenges that come with creating and managing NDAs during their lifecycle. Digitising and automating your NDA process will mean the process is standardised and each new agreement created will be company-compliant with the most up-to-date clauses.
Frees up resource
NDAs can be an acute pain to review and manage, and combined with the increase in the volume of legal requests, it’s preventing legal teams from focusing on high-value, strategic activities. Automating your NDA process streamlines and standardises these processes, reducing the need for repetitive tasks, saving time and minimizing the risk of errors allowing legal teams to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their work.
Summize embeds contract workflows into your existing tools like Salesforce, Slack and Teams to create a gateway to legal. Business stakeholders can self-serve on contract creation and build compliant contracts in minutes from a library of pre-approved legal templates and clauses without legal involvement.
NDA automation diminishes risk by ensuring consistency, reducing human errors, and enhancing compliance by deploying standardised templates to eliminate any mistakes with drafting and management. The robust tracking and advanced analytics offered by CLM tools support effective auditing and management, reducing the risk of non-compliance.
Although relatively short agreements, the process of authoring and managing an NDA can often be long and complex. Automation streamlines the entire lifecycle of NDAs, from creation to tracking with standardised templates to enable with generation of NDA documents. This speed is particularly valuable in dynamic business environments where the timely execution of NDAs is crucial for initiating and advancing various collaborations, partnerships, or business transactions.
Thought Machine recently implemented Summize to automate their NDA process to help reduce the administrative burden on the legal team, for the low-risk, interim agreements such as NDA.
“With Summize in place and our Slack integration for self-service contract creation, NDAs and trial agreements are being signed faster, which was a key objective for Thought Machine. Version control is easier, stakeholders are pleased with the new template/process, and the legal team has more time to spend on the more strategic work”.
Kate Armstrong, Senior Legal Counsel at Thought Machine
NDAs are time-consuming, costly to manage and prone to human errors due to the manual management process. Summize’s integrated contract lifecycle management tool makes the management of NDA quick and easy. By embedding workflows into Teams, Slack or Salesforce to create a legal front door, business stakeholders can generate contracts in 2 minutes from their Teams, Slack, or Salesforce window to keep their deals moving at speed.
Summize bypasses any bottlenecks or time-consuming processes associated with manual contract management by allowing easy access to predesigned and preapproved legal templates. Set up your templates, workflows and guardrails and allow business stakeholders to build complaint agreements without involving the legal team.