Technology is ever-evolving. It's impacting not only on an individual level, but it is also resulting in transforming businesses. Gone are the days when you had to make a phone call or an email to get things done. With communication, collaboration, and project management taking precedence over excel sheets, everything is seamless and hassle-free.
Even you will agree to that!
One such latest technology trend that has become an integral part of today's business landscape is— digital signatures. With the ubiquity of the internet and everyone using upgraded systems and applications, traditional methods of signing documents are readily changing.
But before we move on to the nitty-gritty details of the digital signature and its benefits in today's business environment, first take a look at some important facts.
Don't Confuse Digital Signatures With Electronic Signatures
An electronic signature is an umbrella term that includes digital signatures. It includes other types of electronic means, such as signature authentication. Electronic signatures consist of four basic components, i.e., a mode to sign, a means to authenticate the data, including signatories, and capturing the intent.
This usually includes items such as personal identification numbers, biometric markers, and other identification processes.
Now that you are familiar with the difference between these terms let's move on to the main topic, i.e., digital signatures.
What Led to The Rise in The Need For Digital Signatures?
It often gets a complicated process if you want to obtain signatures from the third or multiple signers. For starters, one had to print out documents, scan them and then send them via post or email to get them signed.
Secondly, the time-consumed during this process is so much. Plus, often there are chances when papers are not signed, or there are late deliveries of the crucial documents, sometimes papers are tattered.
Hence, business owners rely on digital signature software or are leaning towards other modern ways, such as adding a signature to a PDF software. The recipient only has to open the file, sign a pdf and get on with other business operations. It helps businesses to stay competitive in an already competitive business environment.
But that's not all!
There are a plethora of benefits of using digital signatures now!
- They offer an added security to both parties since it uses fingerprint data in a digital signature that always remains embedded in the document. So, if anyone tries to tamper or alter the document, one can easily spot that.
In other words, the coded message uniquely identifies the person who signed the document. The technology used is public key infrastructure or PKI that uses an encryption verification mechanism to identify an individual by this electronic signature.
- Digital signatures help to authenticate a document since they are only considered genuine if the cryptographic hashes match. For instance, it checks certificate authority, digital certificates, and public key infrastructure and validates the authenticity of the document.
Also, since the signature is verified, this digital document will have a say in the court in case of discrepancies. Plus, the time stamping or the ability to track these documents simplify audit or compliance. And worry not, they have validity in the future as well.
- Since everything is done online or digitally, you don't need to rely on anyone's presence at a particular time physically. Plus, the software providers also have their means to regulate or safeguard their signature data.
- Since you don't have to create any physical space for these files, you can save up space for other things. All you need is an IT network or a cloud to store these files. And the best part is everyone related to that particular project can access this file remotely without coming to the office to get the related documents for further steps.
- Managing or tracking documents becomes easier. The same task requires lesser effort. So, in other words, it helps to speed up the process. For instance, email notifications remind the person to sign a document or at what stage a document is. This allows better workflow efficiency.
The costs involved in integrating digital signatures are also relatively small. And the quicker turnaround time makes it ideal for every type of business.
- If you are a part of a marketing or sales funnel, it would be tedious to wait for customers to show up every time. This is ideal for businesses who wish to reach far-end areas or smaller townships. Thus, enhancing personalized services. The customer has the freedom to be anywhere and anytime to engage with a company, thereby making services quick and user-friendly.
- As corporations or businesses are inclining towards sustainability, digital signatures are one step close to reducing waste or becoming environmentally friendly.
With so much to do in a lesser time frame, businesses often look for means or methods that allow them to save time, money, and energy. Compared to traditional methods, digital signatures are one such way of using technology that is difficult to forge (until you don't lose the keys).
So, when you employ this means, it will include a graphical representation of your handwriting. Experts suggest using date and time when applying your signatures to the pdf file. Doing so will allow you to create an official record of the event. So, you won't have to worry about remembering dates or related stuff.
Again, you won't have to wait for the manager, customer, or the stakeholders to return from meetings or holiday to get things done. So, you can easily save cost and time with just a click of a button. Remember, a single second saved is equivalent to money earned. Plus, it will be a quick measure to get things done within a matter of minutes seamlessly.
Isn't this what a business owner always wishes for? After all, running a business in today's evolving digital landscape is quite tough already. The use of emerging technologies is more of a need than an option now.
Also, if you can go a step further by changing your traditional business ways, then why not use one right this moment. Right?