What a difference digitization can make. Functionally, there’s not much of a difference between a pen and paper signature and one done online: you sign and it’s done. And yet, by making the leap to online signatures, your company can make a major change with several potentially positive ramifications. The easier you make it to sign off on a document, the faster you can process contracts, orders, and other important files. Imagine what this looks like on a grand scale!
The physical signature isn’t completely gone, to be sure, and implementation of such a system can take time. If you’re a decision-maker trying to figure out whether or not going digital is right for you, now’s a key time to consider. According to some industry forecasts, the market for digital signatures is set to grow significantly within just a few short years. In some senses, this is just another aspect of adapting to the times and bringing more processes into an accessible online space.
To see the real possibilities, though, let’s examine some of what digital signatures might be able to bring to your business.
Pretty much every digital transformation effort comes with the fear of security breach. Losing control of confidential data is every company’s worst nightmare. A saved signature is essentially another piece of data that seems like it could fall into the wrong hands. There’s something important a digital signature brings to the table, though, and that’s consistency.
Having the same signature stored for various documents means it can only take moments for employees to put their official stamp down. Once they do, they can save that signature and keep it for future use. It’s normal to be skeptical of storing your data, but with a safeguarded service, you may actually feel more confident that your signature is legitimate and protected, ready to deploy.
Digital signatures can be a shortcut that help you skip over several steps in sales and purchase order management. As part of a larger effort to “go paperless”, signing electronically can help you close major communication gaps, setting the precedent for sending, saving, and prioritizing digital documents. Normalize this signature process and you may help your business get used to the paperless workflow.
This Lifehacker piece even puts digital signatures as the first step for a larger paperless office, one that focuses on scanned documents in a single accessible environment, whatever that ends up being. In the best case scenario, you could use a shared, integrated workspace to reduce long wait times between confirmations.
And while this is a great goal to keep your eye on, it’s also perfectly alright to start small. If you manage to save just a bit of time with a digital signature, you may already be proving its worth.
3. Mobile access
Arguably the biggest benefit of digital signatures, support for mobile devices can truly re-shape how you conduct important interactions. Granting your different departments the chance to sign remotely makes the vital act of adding a name easy to do. You can make informed decisions about how to guide your digital transformation.
What’s important isn’t forcing your business to take on change it isn’t ready for. Instead, recognize what your employees are already used to and concentrate on that. ZDNet highlighted this in an article about CIO strategy: when it comes to mobile, staying up to date may be less of a strain on your workforce than you think, especially now.
It’s likely that many members of your workflow will be familiar with using cell phones, tablets, or other devices, so skip the strain of waiting for physical documents and give document recipients an easy way to interact. We can’t know for sure what the future will hold for signatures, but mobile support undoubtedly broadens your reach.
Take the next steps
Unlike many forms of digital transformation, electronic signatures are relatively simple to establish and can yet have a wide-reaching effect. Think of the number of contracts, orders, requests, and other documents you have to process regularly, and you may start to see how important this change can really be.