E-signatures key to business transformation
E-signatures integrated with digital workflow solutions can save organisations years on admin and millions on wasted resources*.
This is according to Carla Ralph, Adobe solutions expert, who was addressing a webinar on e-signatures hosted by Dax Data and ITWeb this week.
Ralph said research by Aberdeen had found that businesses that deploy unified e-signature and document platforms were three times more likely to have confidence in documents for completing business, 80% more likely to have high customer satisfaction, and 40% more likely to see increased revenue.
Despite the compelling business case and strong uptake during the lockdown, many organisations still rely heavily on physical signatures on paper documents, because laws require this or because certain approvals processes have not yet evolved to digital, she said.
“Globally, people still print documents because they need them for manual approvals, or because the law requires wet ink signatures for certain documents,” she said.
A poll of webinar participants found that organisations that still needed to use paper documents did so mainly because the law requires that certain documents are printed (45%), people are still requested to print certain documents from colleagues (34%) and because people find it easier proofread paper documents (17%)
Ralph noted that businesses are changing and e-signatures, the catalyst for change, were recognised almost across the board as legal, legitimate signatures. While certain documents such as wills and property transfers still require wet ink signatures, Ralph said the environment was changing. “For example, some organisations are getting around the wet ink requirement by electronically signing the document live during an online meeting,” she said.
She said the business cases for e-signatures included cost reduction, revenue growth, cost transparency, risk reduction, breaking down of organisational silos and enablement of new business models. Using Adobe Acrobat Sign delivers a 420% return on investment and a 28x faster time to signature, according to The Total Economic Impact of Sign, a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on Behalf of Adobe.
There are use cases across departments, Ralph noted: “E-signatures can be used in the sales department for proposals, agreements, applications and quotes; in remote workforces for applications, contracts and agreements, authentication of signatures, policy acknowledgement; and in marketing for contracts, release forms and customer onboarding. The legal department can harness e-signatures for contract management and policy management; IT can use them for vendor agreements, asset management and change requests; finance can deploy them in areas such as budget approvals, reimbursement requests or invoice approval; and HR can use them to enable self service, employee onboarding, benefits and enrolment processes.”
In a poll of webinar participants, 32% felt e-signatures could be most beneficial for the sales department, 30% said procurement could benefit most, and 20% believed HR could benefit most.
Ralph outlined how the Adobe Acrobat Sign and Microsoft partnership is delivering measurable improvements for customers; including a 75% reduction in paper waste, 80% less time to process new hires, signed approvals returned in hours instead of weeks, and the ability to sign anywhere on any device. “Users can create, edit, sign and manage secure PDF documents from within Microsoft 365 apps with globally compliant processes to accelerate business and drive efficiencies. Live signing within Microsoft Teams will also be available later this year, making secure face-to-face digital signing a reality,” she said.
Dax Data is now offering a proof-of-concept enabling organisations to determine whether Adobe Acrobat Sign fits their use case requirements in their own environments. Contact Lydia Webber at email@example.com for information or visit https://www.daxdata.co.za/adobe-sign/.