Why Homegrown Clickwrap Acceptance Tracking Is Unsustainable

In-house or homegrown clickwrap acceptance tracking isn't sustainable in the long run because of the resources it requires from your internal teams, and the courts don't look favorably on it.

Creating in-house or homegrown solutions to problems is common, particularly when you want full control and transparency in the process. However, homegrown solutions aren’t always the best choice. They are perfect for simpler processes with low stakes, like applicant tracking for open positions. But complicated legal processes with high stakes—such as clickwrap acceptance—are often a poor match for in-house solutions.

Read on to learn why in-house or homegrown clickwrap acceptance tracking is unsustainable in the long run. We’ll also discuss why you should get a third-party vendor solution for clickwrap acceptance.

Why Homegrown Clickwrap Acceptance Tracking Is Unsustainable

Here are a few reasons you should avoid using in-house or homegrown clickwrap acceptance tracking in contract management solutions.

1) Homegrown clickwrap acceptance isn’t your core product

Firstly, homegrown clickwrap acceptance probably isn’t your primary or core product. 

If you’re creating or managing an app or site that has nothing to do with tracking clickwrap acceptance, clickwrap acceptance is only one of the many things you need to do for compliance’s sake. Your main focus is creating, refining, and developing a product that attracts and retains customers. This can take a lot of time, especially since you need to balance best practices with additional recommendations and requirements. 

If you invest too much time and energy into creating a homegrown clickwrap acceptance management process, you can quickly burn yourself out. You’ll also have less time to work on your core product or service, leading to a lower Return on Investment (ROI).

That’s why you should get a third-party solution that tracks and manages clickwrap acceptance tracking for you. Since third-party solutions work out of the box and don’t require long implementation times, you can focus on refining and updating your product so that you’re ahead of your competitors.

2) In-house clickwrap acceptance solutions aren’t as scalable, flexible, or frictionless as third-party vendor solutions

Customers want a simple, frictionless experience that meets all legal requirements and maintains an intuitive, cohesive, and user-friendly interface. Although it’s possible to invest in an in-house clickwrap acceptance solution that does all of this, doing so would take a lot of time. You may have to hire new team members to get the results you want since your existing IT team may not have the depth of expertise to bring your vision to life. You may also have to outsource or hire designers to create the user interface you want.

In contrast, many third-party vendor platforms work straight out of the box. These software solutions provide you with advanced branding options that maintain the function, feel, and look of your experience or product. They also give you the ability to provide scalable, flexible, and fast solutions that meet the needs of your Sales, Product, and Legal teams as well as your customers’ expectations. 

Ironclad, for instance, gives you the ability to store and manage all of your clickwrap contracts on a centralized hub. These hubs can help you locate contracts, track contract versions, prove acceptance, and publish new terms in just a few minutes.

3) You don’t have the time to update your in-house clickwrap solution constantly

Legislation that can impact your product or service—such as the GDPR or CCPA—changes from time to time. 

If you’re using an in-house clickwrap solution, you need to stay on top of these updates at all times, since a small update can fundamentally alter your data collection process and how you manage your terms acceptance and online agreement processes. You’ll also have to spend a lot of time implementing changes to maintain compliance, which will require you to grow your in-house solution. This, in turn, can potentially disrupt your current workflows, product roadmap, and more.

To simplify updating your homegrown solution, you should get a third-party solution that empowers Legal to manage these updates without having to rely on IT and other departments. Say goodbye to digging around your app or site’s coding to push updates—a top-notch third-party vendor solution will ensure 100% automatic compliance for clickwrap acceptance tracking.

4) Homegrown solutions aren’t as secure as third-party vendor software

You should also avoid using homegrown solutions because they are less secure than third-party solutions.

You could hire a cybersecurity team to create a secure IT environment to manage and store your clickwrap acceptance audit trail. However, this would cost a lot of time and energy. Additionally, you would have to create compliance programs and conduct yearly penetration tests and other measures to ensure your IT environment meets compliance requirements and industry standards. 

For instance, let’s say you want to be SOC 2 certified. SOC 2 is one of the most respected security and compliance standards. It evaluates how you run your entire organization, from your engineering and IT systems to HR processes like onboarding new hires and updating job descriptions. If you want to be SOC 2 certified, you have to bring in outside auditors, build a roadmap to SOC 2 compliance, and wait for your auditors to do a format audit on your IT system. After getting certified, you must maintain certification by undergoing regular yearly audits to ensure your security documentation and measures scale with your business.

After doing all of this, your business may still be vulnerable to a wide range of security breaches. These include:

  • Vulnerabilities and breaches caused by your team, such as accidentally deleting or modifying applications and data.
  • Zero-day attacks, which can happen when your team can’t detect pre-existing app or software vulnerabilities in time.

On the other hand, getting a third-party solution is a lot more efficient and reliable. Most third-party vendors already have everything you need to protect and secure your contract metadata. Ironclad, for example, has many  security measures in place to prevent and mitigate cybersecurity issues. A SOC 2, Type II-compliant business, Ironclad prioritizes protecting customer and system data. 

We have an enterprise-grade data retention policy to delete irrelevant records regularly. We encrypt all data at rest and in transit to prevent important information from falling into the wrong hands. Only employees who need access to customer data are granted access to your data.

Ironclad also: 

  • Has a GDPR compliance program
  • Operates according to the principle of least privilege
  • Uses the U.S.-hosted Google Cloud Platform and operates in multiple zones to safeguard your organization from outages.
  • Conducts yearly penetration testing and quarterly vulnerability testing to remediate and identify security vulnerabilities in our system.
  • Operates according to a wide range of operational security policies, including access controls, antivirus policies, policies governing IT assets, and more.

5) Courts are more likely to trust organizations that use third-party solutions

Case law has revealed that courts are more likely to suspect your records are fraudulent if you use in-house solutions to manage and maintain records. For example, in  Dillon v. BMO Harris Bank, the court declined to enforce BMO Harris Bank’s terms because BMO Harris Bank had complete control over their electronic records. According to the court, this meant the bank was in a position to create documentation to advance in court. 

Even if there was no chance of fraud, there is a chance of error whenever organizations create and maintain their own records for compliance. A company’s homegrown solution may also include agreements “whose terms and electronic clickthrough procedures vary over time.” In contrast, a third-party solution can produce consistent and reliable terms and clickthrough documentation.

If BMO Harris Bank had used a third-party solution to create, store, and manage its clickwrap acceptance process, the court would’ve probably ruled in favor of its agreement.

Wrapping up

It’s tempting to go for a homemade or in-house solution for clickwrap acceptance tracking—a custom-made IT environment for your clickwrap acceptance gives you full transparency and control over how your team stores and manages clickwrap acceptance records. However, creating an in-house clickwrap acceptance tracking solution that meets industry and compliance standards takes a lot of time and energy. 

That’s why you should get a premier third-party vendor like Ironclad. Sleek, user-friendly, and packed to the brim with powerful functionalities, Ironclad already comes with everything you need to create and manage clickwrap acceptance records. Secure, flexible, frictionless, and scalable, Ironclad goes above and beyond what any homegrown solution can do. 

By relying on Ironclad instead of a homegrown solution, you can focus on refining and creating high-quality offerings for your customers. Like other third-party vendors, Ironclad will also help you enforce your clickwrap agreements in court since courts are more likely to trust organizations that use third-party solutions.

If you’re interested in experiencing the Ironclad experience, try the  Ironclad demo today. Our sandbox demo will show you how Ironclad can boost your ROI by cutting your clickwrap contract processing time by 80%.

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Why You Need a Third-Party Vendor for Clickwrap Solution

To ensure your clickwrap agreements can stand up in court, you need a third-party clickwrap vendor. Also see Dillon v. BMO Harris. Learn more.
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