These days, more and more businesses and organizations continue their transition from physical to remote offices—for many good reasons.
First, it’s a cost-effective solution that may help significantly reduce expenses. And second, remote employees typically have fewer distractions, which results in increased work efficiency and productivity.
Nevertheless, the success of remote working will highly depend on the tools and technology businesses provide. One of the most crucial tools businesses will need to facilitate an effective and efficient work-from-home (WFH) operation is e-signature.
An e-signature, or electronic signature, is much like a regular, conventional signature but better. Aside from being a convenient and instant way to sign highly-sensitive documents, it’s also legally binding, thanks to the E-Sign Act of 2000. It’s also an easy way to make businesses green and sustainable by reducing their carbon footprint.
That being said, it seems that e-signatures have no signs of stopping, nor will they be in the coming years. In this post, you’ll discover the predictions for e-signature this year and in the years to come.
Furthermore, if you still don’t know how to sign a Google Doc and other word documents using e-signatures, search and look for topics to understand how they work.
1. It Will Become an Integral Part of The Contract Process of Any Organization
In the previous years, most businesses have changed significantly to ensure continuity and meet growing consumer demands in evolving circumstances. One of the initial steps they had to take to create a remote-friendly working environment was the implementation of e-signatures across different departments.
Nowadays, almost all businesses use e-signatures in their operations and plan to use them in the future. On top of that, more than three-quarters of these businesses only adopted it the recent years when everything is going remote. In other words, e-signatures have boomed. Those who have stayed with the traditional method will only lose their competitive edge in the market.
What does this mean for those using e-signatures? This implies how your baseline has evolved and how you caught up in the competition. Having a signature solution is no longer a distinguishing factor. To regain your edge, you’ll have to think outside the box.
Start by incorporating other tools into your signature stack to provide better employee and customer experiences. Instead of using only e-signatures, incorporate integrations to automate specific processes, such as filling in information.
Furthermore, instead of creating contracts from scratch, make use of readily available templates to reduce repetitive processes.
2. It Will Be A Company-Wide Strategy
Today, e-signature is often limited to departments most likely involved in contract signing and digital agreements, such as IT (information technology) and legal teams. Most businesses and organizations heavily depend on these two when it comes to e-signatures. However, the ownership of the contract process is much bigger than these two teams alone.
As more contracts are generated, completed, and negotiated online, every department of an organization will need to take part in the greater e-signature scheme. Here’s how different teams, aside from IT and legal teams, will make use of e-signatures this year:
- For HR teams, they may use e-signatures to streamline the hiring and onboarding processes and documents (especially for remote employees).
- For sales teams, they may use e-signatures to make contract creation and approval processes not complicated.
- For procurement teams, they may use e-signatures to improve the negotiation process between new and current vendors.
3. New Legislations Will Expand The Use Of E-Signatures
Some gaps may still be present in the implementation of e-signatures. For example, some parts of the contract signing process still have to be executed face to face. This is relatively common in situations where witnesses (at least one) are required to complete the contract signing.
Aside from that, there are instances when the presence of a notary public (powers of attorney and affidavits) may be required. This would need the presence of an individual to sign the contract accordingly.
Unfortunately, such tedious and inconvenient processes have no signs of going away unless the government makes necessary changes to the laws that bind the use of e-signatures. Until then, businesses are still far from reaping the benefits of modern and efficient digital processing.
That being said, organizations and businesses that handle multi-party agreement systems should keep an eye on the possible changes to the laws concerning the use of e-signature.
4. Digital Transformation Will Improve The Internal Business Operations
Streamlining the agreement processes allows businesses to improve how they perform their internal functions and eradicate work inefficiencies. The shift to a digital platform has minimized the patience for errors, bottlenecks, and delays of a conventional workflow.
This transition provides efficient customer relationship processes. Also, it allows various teams and departments to process tons of information using less complicated and more connected functionalities, reducing expenses and increasing revenue.
This is why it’s important to use and maximize the features of an e-signature to reap the benefits of digital transformation.
5. Electronic Agreement Processes Will Integrate New Functionalities
In most cases, e-signatures are only used at the end of the contract signing process. Parties establish contracts, process them obsoletely, and then incorporate e-signatures to complete the last and closing step. It’s still an improvement compared to the conventional ink-based process. However, it’s only the tip of an iceberg-sized potential.
The ability to sign electronically has recently been acknowledged as a gap filler in improving end-to-end digital operations. With this, documents no longer have to be printed, signed, and scanned, paving the way for a digital workflow. But the progress may only continue as long as organizations integrate multiple solutions to increase the complexity of the process.
In today’s hybrid working environments, employees have enjoyed working with digital tools that allow them to automate certain processes and complete transactions. Contract-related workflows will continue evolving and connect with these tools to establish a centralized end-to-end process.
The electronic signing process will no longer be limited to e-signatures alone. Instead, it’ll utilize virtual negotiations and facilitate real-time contract revisions. This new workflow will allow employees to accomplish more tasks since they would have more time.
E-signatures are an efficient and convenient way to sign documents. These days, more and more businesses continue to recognize their ability to improve workflow productivity and boost cost savings.
However, it’s still far from becoming the ultimate solution for optimizing agreement processes. Still, its future looks brighter, and the predictions mentioned above prove it. But that’ll depend on how the government and businesses address the underlying issues surrounding e-signature.