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The Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study: Cost Savings, Business Benefits, and a 314% ROI

June 15, 2023 3 min read
icons and stats from forester reports

Since its inception in 2014, Ironclad has been on a mission to power the world’s contracts, transforming them from a source of bottlenecks and missed opportunities to catalysts for business growth, efficiency, and resilience. We measure our CLM’s impact based on our customer voices, with recognition from customer analyst reports like Gartner Peer Insights™ and IDC CLM MarketScape as a “Customer’s Choice” and “Leader,” respectively. But there was a customer perspective we hadn’t yet shared: ROI in actual dollars and cents.

Ironclad’s Inaugural Total Economic Impact™ Study

So this year, we commissioned Forrester Consulting, part of a leading research and advisory firm, to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study to analyze what monetary and operational return on investment businesses who implement Ironclad’s CLM really get. The study involved interviewing five Ironclad users from organizations ranging from travel and e-commerce to real estate and tech, aggregating their experiences, and combining the results to create a composite organization. Forrester characterized the organization as a “global enterprise that generates more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue and provides services to both B2B and B2C customers” and used it to quantify the financial benefits that implementing Ironclad had on it over a three-year period.

Broadly, the study found that pre-Ironclad implementation, the interviewees’ organizations had disorganized and manual processes, reliance on siloed knowledge, and a lack of visibility into contract metadata, which opened them up to risk of noncompliance. They also didn’t have a way to analyze and report on that contract metadata, leading to “missed opportunities to terminate with vendors to improve contract terms and increase revenue.” After investing in Ironclad, they saw “increase in overall contracting efficiency, improved legal efficiency that resulted in cost savings, profit-margin expansion, and business growth from adopting Ironclad’s clickwrap product for online click-to-accept agreements.” The composite organization, in turn, saw a 314% return on investment.

But how do these benefits translate into quantifiable cost savings? Let’s take a closer look.

Key Findings

To calculate the ROI percentage, the study weighed the cost of Ironclad licensing, implementation, training, and maintenance costs against the labor savings and profit increases Ironclad provided. Here’s what it found.

65% improvement in end-to-end contract efficiency. The composite organization centralized contract management, expediting creation, review, and approval, while workflow automation eliminated manual tasks. It also extracted insights via Ironclad’s contract-process metrics, data insights, and advanced analytics.

  • 3-year result: $1.2 million in labor cost savings.

60% operational efficiency lift for legal and reduced outside legal spending. Ironclad drove greater compliance, collaboration, and efficiency for the composite organization’s legal teams, business stakeholders, and counterparties, freeing up time to focus on strategic work and reduce spending on outside counsel.

  • 3-year result: $1.2 million in cost savings.

3% conversion rate lift from Ironclad Clickwrap. Ironclad’s click-to-agree product created a clickwrap agreement process that’s scaleable and has less friction.

  • 3-year result: $1.3 million in profit.

25 basis-point profit-margin expansion. Using Ironclad, sales stakeholders in the composite organization reduced the time it took to create, review, and approve contracts, helping close deals faster and accelerate revenue recognition.  Plus, Ironclad AI provided deeper contract visibility and control to negotiate more favorable terms.

  • 3-year result: $1.1 million in profit expansion.

On top of the financial improvements above, the study also noted a number of “unquantified benefits” that “provided value but were not explicitly measured, including tech cost savings, implementation ease and time to value, reduced risk, ease of use, high user adoption, improved insights and reporting, increased sales velocity, more favorable buy-side contracting terms, and stronger vendor support and partnership.

What Customers Had to Say

The interviewees themselves also chimed in, with a Head of Legal Operations at a tech organization detailing how they had “done about 25% more deals in Ironclad in less than a year compared to the legacy tool, and with negative team growth.”

Another interviewee, a VP of Contract Strategy at a customer service organization said that they were able to increase “our workload by about 40%, managed increased complexity, improved [customer profitability], and improved confidence.


Contract lifecycle management is a crucial aspect of modern business operations, enabling organizations to mitigate risks, drive efficiency, and foster growth. We’re proud to provide a CLM solution that drives such powerful returns on investment and enables them to navigate the complexities of growing, scaling, and, at a higher level, digitally transforming their organizations. The Head of Global Legal Operations at a travel organization captured it best: “We’ve seen a huge productivity boost. We’ve freed up half of a four-person team–just due to technology. [It] has been amazing.”


Download the study to fully explore what savings and profits Ironclad could bring to your business.

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