Some of the important aspects to consider while choosing a Digital Signature Software is:
Point Product or Integrated Solution
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Digital Signature Software can be a standalone software where it comes with more robust features like multi-device support and bulk sending. There are also integrated solutions wherein Marketing Automation, Contract Management, Proposal Management and even CRM will have some kind of basic e-signature support.
Cloud or On-Premise
Cloud or SaaS-based products are popular and are cost-effective also. However, there are several organizations which have stringent requirements around data privacy, and also by law would have requirements to keep the data within the boundary. Such businesses adopt on-premise deployment.
A good and reliable Digital Signature Software enables the signing of documents created with commonly used applications. This provides users with the same flexibility to secure their documents as they had to when signing a paper document.
As many enterprises have large volumes of different types of documents, there are sometimes sections that need to be reviewed and approved by one signatory and another section needs approval by a different person. The right Digital Signature Software needs to support multiple signatures effectively to enable sectional signing and editing.
A Digital Signature Software must allow one to seal a document to make it ‘tamper-proof’. This feature safeguards a document from fraud and forgery by using a one-time fingerprint unique to the signer and the document, which cannot be reused and reassigned.
A digital signature must meet the basic requirements of authenticity, integrity, privacy, and non-refutability, and most importantly be able to stand up in court as well. This can be done only when the software has complied with legal regulations of any country and also with any industry guidelines that may be in its purview.
Ease of Use
Signing on a document with a digital signature must be as easy and less time consuming than the traditional paper route. It should not take more than seconds and users should be able to use the software seamlessly to secure their document and not have to learn any new technology to be able to utilize it fully.
While standards-based Digital Signature Software allows companies to become totally paperless, it should be able to considerably bring down the traditional costs associated with paperwork including archiving, faxing, storing, copying, and transporting a document. Apart from registration and renewal fees for digital certificates and cost for smart cards etc., the Digital Signature Software should not have hidden costs or require heavy investment in IT support and development or too many additional staff to run the software.
Challenges in Adopting Digital Signature Software
Let’s look at some of the challenges faced by companies in the adoption of a Digital Signature Software:
Many companies do not trust digital signatures and their legality. Several legal requirements are binding upon companies that use Digital Signatures and it is imperative that the companies are aware of these and adapt it accordingly. This view and ignorance of laws surrounding it affect the adoption of Digital signatures in business transactions.
While many companies are looking at streamlining their operations and reducing storage cost, there are still businesses which are reluctant to switch to digital signatures owing to the fact that the RoI in the adoption of Digital Signatures is easily not definable - this is so especially if the organization structure and business processes are not complex. As cost is the foremost consideration in a business adopting technology, it becomes an impediment to its adoption and use.
Digital Signature can not be implemented in a standalone fashion, it brings value only when other related processes have gone through digital transformation.
At times, the lack of administrative adoption of technology can be a hindrance to the implementation of a Digital Signature Software. Businesses routinely have to encounter many stakeholders like governments and banks that may still insist on receiving and processing paper documents. So while it is legal, digital signatures may not be administratively adopted which may hinder implementation and internal usage.
Four important aspects to assess the reliability of a Digital Signature include identity, integrity, authenticity, and longevity. The right Digital Signature Software needs to be evaluated for all these aspects against the business need for it to be successfully implemented and adopted.
ROI of Digital Signature Software
According to a report by the Global Community of Information Professionals, among electronic signature business users, 81% experience an ROI in a single 12-month budget cycle, while 25% in three months or earlier.
Boost Sales Conversion
A lot of time can be spent by teams in companies to collect signatures, do follow-ups with clients, and rely only on paper to obtain signatures. This would mean that the time spent on these efforts significantly reduces the company’s time spent in creating or reaching out to potential customers. A more streamlined process that includes adapting to Digital Signature Software will boost the current conversion rate of any business.
Reduce Processing Errors
According to the State of Business Process Management report, businesses that go paperless cut their processing errors by an average of 90%. This means that companies experience tremendous cost savings in duplication of efforts when switching to Digital Signature software.
With digital signature software, customer service and sales professionals can cut down their administrative work spent on chasing signatures and locating mislaid documents and channel their efforts to revenue-generating activities.
Archiving & Documenting
For any business, archiving and organizing of office documents is an important activity which takes both a lot of time, labour, and space. Using a Digital Signature Software ensures that organizations can preserve documents for over fifty years and save on the expensive storage space requirements in an office. Digital Signature Software also offers a variety of reliable digital document management platforms that companies can avail of.