Electronic signature: is it speeding up or derailing digitization? How the right choice makes all the difference


By Zakir Ahmed, Senior Vice President of Sales – APJ at Kofax.

Organizations are turning to software designed specifically for business use, rather than software designed for consumers, for a reason. Businesses have a wider range of requirements and the software they use must evolve and adapt to changing needs. So why, when it comes to electronic signature technology, do some companies think a basic solution will suffice?

Electronic signature technology is becoming increasingly popular as organizations accelerate their digital transformation efforts in response to COVID-19, and businesses have many options when it comes to choosing a supplier.

Capturing a digital signature is relatively straightforward, so it’s tempting to go with electronic signature software that your customers may already be using. But the same thoughtful consideration that goes into choosing suppliers for other technologies should also be applied to the electronic signature selection process.

While it is true that most software vendors will have no problem providing fast and efficient remote signing capabilities today, many can actually hinder your organization’s future automation initiatives. . A smarter, smarter choice is to go for a solution that meets your customers’ immediate desires for electronic signature capabilities, but also has the features and functionality necessary to meet your long-term business needs.

Not all electronic signature solutions are created equal

The switch to electronic signatures is just one piece of the larger puzzle of digitization and automation. According to a recent study by Forrester, 48% of companies in Asia-Pacific automated execution and verification, such as digital signing. However, these same organizations were in the midst of other automation initiatives, including:

  • Digitization of information (55%)
  • Interaction at reception (51%)
  • Rule-based tasks (46%)
  • Business expense management (45%)
  • Decision making (42%)
  • Back-office tasks (40%)
  • Workflow orchestration (29%)
  • Automation of access points (25%)

While your customers only care about being able to get rid of wet ink and paper, organizations need to think about the big picture. What do these electronic signature solutions bring in terms of scalability and security? What does the technological infrastructure look like? Is it compatible with your company’s IT requirements and broader automation initiatives? What types of licensing models are available?

Working with a single supplier is often the best approach. An automation platform with electronic signature capabilities ensures you get the basic digital signature functionality that your customers now want as good as the functionality and innovation needed to incorporate digital signatures into business workflows for end-to-end automation.

In fact, more than half (58%) of Asia-Pacific organizations prefer a single-vendor approach to their automation technology platform, and 99% of companies think it’s useful to work with just one. supplier who can offer a wide range of complementary services. technologies. Companies prefer the single-vendor approach for many reasons, including greater efficiency of day-to-day tasks, improved employee productivity, seamless technology solution, better internal collaboration, improved operational efficiency, improved customer experience, and so on. that increased security and compliance.

Four characteristics of a forward-looking electronic signature solution

If you want a solution to support larger digital transformation efforts, it’s worth taking the time to carefully assess electronic signature technologies and vendors. There are four features that businesses should consider must-haves:

  1. Simplified integration: A powerful electronic signature solution must integrate with existing core systems, such as CRM and ERP, and collaborate with corresponding workflows. When document and form signing is deeply integrated into your applications and workflows, businesses benefit from in-depth reporting and can provide more innovative experiences for customers and employees.
  1. Powerful business management: Many organizations prefer an on-premises electronic signature solution for security and compliance reasons. But they might want to migrate to the cloud in the future. Does the solution support both types of deployment models or a hybrid approach? Businesses in nearly every industry also need to ensure that they are following compliance regulations and taking appropriate action to mitigate risk. As such, an electronic signature solution must provide audit trail functionality and meet technical guidelines governing the use of electronic signatures around the world. The technology must also provide substantial evidence of approval and adoption of a document’s content and of its binding, conclusive, and non-repudiable character.
  1. Desired user experience: User experience is important to employees and customers. As more and more workers remain remote, they need to be able to create, send, track and sign documents and forms digitally. And it must be easy. For example, an intuitive, code-free experience is essential to drive adoption and productivity forward across business units. From the customer’s perspective, ease of use is just as important, but they also want to engage from any location, on any device. So, to meet that expectation and foster positive customer journeys, any solution you choose must support an omnichannel experience.
  1. Integrated into an intelligent automation platform: With so many organizations investing in smart automation platforms, integration is key. Point solutions create disjointed automation silos and hamper the transformation of the digital workflow. An intelligent automation platform with electronic signature capabilities and access to complementary automation technologies, such as robotic process automation and document intelligence, enables organizations to digitally orchestrate entire business processes .

An intelligent automation platform with cutting-edge electronic signature capabilities ensures that electronic signatures are reliable, secure and convenient. With faster contract execution, approval times and signing ceremonies, this will boost performance and speed up transactions. But this is only the beginning.

Through automation, businesses can also reduce the costs associated with manual paper-based processes and redirect resources to higher value-added tasks. The integration of the electronic signature with existing systems makes end-to-end digitization possible in many use cases, including customer and employee integration, purchasing, subscriptions, customer loan requests and customer service.

A digital signature solution integrated with a smart automation platform will provide your organization with high-quality signature capture today and support your broader digital transformation strategy. Don’t let a basic solution derail you. Invest in an enterprise-grade electronic signature so your employees can “work like tomorrow, today”.

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