Digital transformation is about making organizations more agile and responsive through the ubiquitous use of connected digital technologies. The more business processes you can digitize, the more capable you will be in improving efficiencies, utilizing data and driving innovation.
Try to imagine an Uber driver waiting for a signed piece of paper to tell him his fastest route or a Netflix customer faxing a request for her next movie. It’s a digital world—and the faster you move away from old habits and old models, the better equipped you will be to compete, leveraging speed, insight, intelligence, security and innovation.
One of the first steps is to move away from paper and toward electronic and digital signatures. Here's why.
Paper is slow: Speed is everything in digital transformation. Everyone is a consumer—your customers, employees and partners—and everyone expects a fast, hassle-free, mobile-enabled digital experience. Paper is the ultimate hassle: printing, collating, signing, faxing, making copies, filing and storing. Compare that with e-signatures: One click or touch and you can send a document for e-signature. Recipients sign it on virtually any device and return it to a repository of your choice, where you can store, access, track and manage the document based on processes you define. According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study, moving from paper to e-signatures shortens sales cycles from eight days to three hours.1
Paper is expensive (in more ways than one): Paper, printers, ink, fax machines, copy machines, postage, shipping, distribution, file cabinets, office space, and more. When you put it all together, paper is expensive. How expensive? The Forrester study found a typical enterprise realizes benefits of $2 million over three years versus costs of $423,000, “adding up to a net present value of $1.6 million and an ROI of 383%.”2 That’s not even counting the environmental impact, which comes to 43,000 gallons of water, 14,175 pounds of wood and 3,600 pounds of waste over a three-year period for the average organization in the study. And then there is the impact on productivity: Switching from paper signatures to e-signatures results in savings of 1.3 hours per transaction.
Paper is risky: Given all of the headlines about cybersecurity breaches, it may be natural to assume that paper is more secure than digital. Actually, with the right solution, e-signatures are more secure and give you much more control over regulatory compliance.
According to research by IDC,3 more than a third of business leaders say they have problems with paper agreements that have been signed by the wrong person or are missing vital information, such as signatures, initials or dates. More than half say they have problems finding misfiled or lost documents. By contrast, the right e-signature platform will provide the highest levels of security protections, including digital signatures, which demonstrate proof of signing by binding each signature to the document with encryption. Respondents to the Forrester study found Adobe Sign to be more secure than paper because of its ability to route sensitive documents directly to signers and add security features such as passwords and digital signatures.
If paper is slow, expensive and risky, there must be a better way. And there is:
- E-signatures boost sales.
- E-signatures accelerate innovation.
- E-signatures are easy to deploy.
- E-signatures improve compliance.
- E-signatures modernize your workflows.
- E-signatures are simple to track and manage, leveraging automation to maintain detailed audit trails.
- E-signatures change your culture.
- E-signatures are the future.
Taking the next step
Throughout this special TechTarget site, we explore the value of e-signatures and digital signatures in enabling companies to move forward on their digital transformation journeys simply, speedily and safely. For more insight on the business value of e-signatures versus paper, please read “Why Electronic Signatures, and Why Now?”
1 “The Total Economic Impact Of Adobe Sign," a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Adobe, May 2017
3 “Business Transformation Through Smarter Document Workflows,” IDC, April 2016