The terms “paperless office” and “dematerialization” have invaded the business press. If we are an institution and we brew a lot of paper documents, the idea of dematerialization can be either seductive or leave us skeptical. What are the benefits of dematerialization to help companies to approach the idea more serenely?
Be more efficient in the office
The processing of physical documents requires significant efforts on a daily basis. Calculate the time it took you to print each of these documents, have them signed, prepare them for mailing and wait for the post office or courier to deliver them to the recipient.
This total would correspond to the potential time savings you could achieve with the digital signature. When you use a document editor to prepare a document, all you have to do is digitally sign it and send it by e-mail to your recipient.
Save on your paper purchases
Digital signatures are a great lever for saving money on your paper supplies. Online processing of your documents saves you at least 10,000 sheets of paper a year. In addition, you also drop your bill for “printer fees and printer maintenance”, a cost that most companies would dream of making disappear.
Once your large drawers are replaced by compact hard disks or a convenient Cloud storage system, saving space in your office is far from negligible. With a few clicks, the document you are looking for appears on your screen; no need to search your paper files and archives for endless minutes.
Take your business to the next level
Imagine that all companies adopt digital signature. In addition to the in-house benefits for businesses, B2B transactions are faster than ever, with child-friendly payments and immediate receipt of your quotes and invoices.
By significantly shortening the contract processing time, more projects and sales can be finalized in a short period of time. Do you process multiple documents simultaneously? No more need to break your back on the mountain of documents to sign: a few clicks are enough to digitally sign several documents.
Give your customers better services
In a booming business, implementing the digital signature would benefit customers. They would be the big winners. Everyone would like to have what they want, exactly when they want it, right? Buyers would not have to wait to receive their documents for signature. Today, your customers can sign their purchase orders no matter where they are. And you can send them the bills, delivery slips and other documents to sign twice as fast from the comfort of your office.
Secure your transactions and urgent documents
Any scammer a little bit talented is able to falsify your signature. With digital signatures, you no longer have this problem since your electronic identity and signature credentials are verified by a third-party company called “Certificate Authority (CA)”. The CA ensures that you are the person who “deploys” the signature and that you legitimately belong to the company you represent. Consider this certification authority as a kind of digital notary of your signature. In addition, many digital signatures have a timestamp function that checks the exact time and date the document was signed. And that, no hustler can reproduce it.
Are companies open for digital signature?
In fact, today most companies would be willing to accept the idea of using digital signature. Some of them are already using it, at the time of writing. According to a recent study by Software Advice, 77% of companies have electronically signed a document in the last three years. Basically, you do not need to worry about what others are doing; instead, focus on how to implement the digital signature yourself.
Of the companies surveyed, 77% also expressed their preference for electronic signature for contracts and forms. Online sending of documents to their respective recipients did not pose any problem. These figures show that paperless business can work perfectly if the processes are properly implemented. At a time when everything must go as fast as possible, digital signatures should logically be imposed in the years to come, as their practical aspect seems difficult to contest. These figures should continue to grow as society evolves into the digital world.
But wait, I see you tickling the fact that the study cited above was about electronic signatures, not about digital signatures. One might think that it is the same thing, when there are major differences. Unlike electronic signatures, digital signatures are standardized and rely on public key cryptography. As noted above, the identity of the signer is verified by a third party and the signature is associated with a cryptographic operation that supports signatory authentication, non-repudiation, document integrity, and time stamping by a third party.
Is the digital signature suitable for the company? YES, without a doubt. If the electronic signature can consist of any symbol, sound or process recorded by any electronic process, the digital signature offers more guarantees of authenticity with its additional security features. Who would be against a strengthening of the security of online transactions?
Is the digital signature of interest to my industry?
If your company operates in a business line that processes more than 10 documents each day, digital signing is a way to explore. Another Software Advice Study looked at the industries that would benefit the most from using the electronic signature. The finance sector led the way (39%), followed by human resources (17%) and the legal sector (14%). In these professions, professionals have several forms and contracts signed each day; the signature is at the very heart of their activity. It is therefore essential that companies in these sectors optimize their operations with digital signatures.
Whether you accept it or not, the digital signature will pave the way for a dematerialized future. The time has come to change the administrative tasks in your offices. It’s up to you to push the idea. Removing paper can save valuable time, money, and resources, with a better image and experience for your customers. Digital signatures based on cryptographic technologies are the royal way to achieve this safely.