GlobalSign Blog

06 Jun 2017

Why You Should Adopt Digital Signatures for Your Paperless Office

You often hear the term “paperless” being thrown around in business news. If you’re an institution dealing with a large number of physical documents, the concept of going paperless may either excite your or make you skeptical. In case you’re part of the latter, this post will help you ease into the idea of shifting into a paperless office environment by highlighting the business benefits.

Be More Efficient at Work

Processing physical documents on a daily basis takes a lot of effort. Compute the time it took you to print those documents one by one, have the documents signed, prepare the documents for sending and wait for the post office or the courier to reach your recipient.

The total time would be the amount of time you can save with the help of Digital Signatures. Once you prepare a document using a document editing software, all you need to do is sign it using a Digital Signature and email the document to your recipient.

Save Money from Paper Supply Costs

Digital Signatures will save you a great deal on paper supplies. By doing your document processing online, you’ll be saving at least 10,000 sheets of paper annually. You’ll also be cutting printing charges and maintenance, something most companies would like to get off their backs.

And at long last you will save yourself space in your office when bulky drawers are replaced with compact hard drives or convenient cloud storage. With a few clicks, you will get the document you need right in front of your screen as opposed to endless rifling through paper stored files.

Make Your Business Move Faster Than Ever

Imagine if all companies adopt Digital Signatures. As well as internal business being improved, business to business transactions will happen faster than ever. Payments will be easier to make and sales quotations and invoices will be received immediately.

The amount of time spent in processing contracts will be cut drastically, allowing more business projects and deals to be finalized in a short amount of time. If you handle multiple documents at once, you won’t need to break your back signing them all. Instead, you can digitally sign multiple documents with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Provide Your Customers with Better Services

And with a fast-moving business model, the ultimate winners would be the customers. Who doesn’t want to get the things they want exactly when they want it? Waiting time for purchase documents would be a thing of the past. Now, your customers can sign their orders wherever they are. You can get your invoices, delivery forms and other documents you need to cater to your customers twice as fast, all in the comfort of your office.

Secure Your Transactions and Time-Sensitive Documents

Any skilled con artist can forge your signature. Digital Signatures remove that concern by having your electronic identity and signing credential verified by a third-party company called a Certificate Authority (like GlobalSign). They will make sure that the one deploying the signature is you and that you are indeed a legitimate member of the company you represent. Think of it a digitalized notary of your signature. Aside from that, many Digital Signatures come with a timestamp feature, verifying the exact time and date the document was signed. That’s something no con man can ever replicate.

But Are Businesses Open to Digital Signatures?

It turns out, most of today’s companies would very much accept the idea of using Digital Signatures. In fact, some of them are already using the technology as we speak. Based on a research recently conducted by Software Advice, they found that 77% of businesses have signed a document electronically within the past three years. So basically, you should stop worrying about other companies and instead focus on how to start using Digital Signatures yourself.

Another 77% of businesses expressed preference in signing contracts and forms using Electronic Signatures. They were also comfortable submitting documents to their respective recipients online. These numbers are a good indication that doing business in a paperless model is possible when properly implemented. In today’s age where everything needs to be done as quickly as possible, the convenience of Digital Signatures will be harder to deny as the years go by. Expect these numbers to increase as society continues to adapt to the digital world.

But wait, I sense you thinking, the study in the previous examples was about Electronic Signatures, not Digital Signatures. You’d think they are one and the same, but there are some key differences. Unlike Electronic Signatures, Digital Signatures are standardized and based on public-key cryptography. As mentioned above, the signer’s identity is verified by a third-party and the signature is tied to a cryptographic operation, which supports authentication of the signer, non-repudiation, document integrity and third-party timestamps.

Are Digital Signatures good for business? The answer would be a resounding YES. While an Electronic Signature can be any symbol, sound or process recorded through electronic means; a Digital Signature provides more authenticity by adding security features. Who doesn’t want a more secure online transaction?

Example digitally signed and certified PDF

Example digitally signed and certified PDF

Will My Industry Benefit from Using Digital Signatures?

If your company works for an industry that deals with more than 10 documents every day, you should consider adopting Digital Signatures. In a separate study conducted by Software Advice, they tried to determine which industries would benefit from electronic signatures the most. The finance industry took the top spot with 39%, followed by human resources and the legal industry with 17% and 14% respectively. These industries require multiple forms and contracts to be signed on a daily basis and their jobs literally rely on their signatures. It is essential for these industries to optimize their business operations with Digital Signatures.

Software Advice, they tried to determine which industries would benefit from electronic signatures the most

(source)

Whether you accept it or not, Digital Signatures will pave the way to a paperless future, so it’s time to suggest the idea of an upgrade to your office operations. Eliminating paper can save you significant time, money and resources, while also helping to improve customer opinion and experience and adopting cryptographic-based Digital Signatures ensures you do this in a safe and secure manner.

If you want to learn more about Digital Signatures and their role in innovating the modern workplace, check out our recent webinar - Trusted Digital Signatures: Regulations & Deployment Options.

You can also learn more on our site or contact us directly.

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