Convenience and affordability, but most importantly security are some of the many reasons why electronic signatures should be embraced and are here to stay.
There seems to be a hopeful light at the end of the “pandemic tunnel” — the world has gotten used to the (un)intended, positive consequences of many of the contactless technologies that advanced tremendously during these unprecedented times.
One of these many technologies is the ability to sign any document conveniently, affordably, and securely, electronically, anytime, anywhere, on almost any device. Other than cost, one of the most common hesitations to adopt tools that enable electronic signatures are security concerns.
Although not all tools are created equal, if you choose the right tool, it can give you peace of mind and enhance your overall security. In addition to security of your signature, it can also provide security for the content of what you have signed in that it will lock it down and make it tamper-proof; and, using the right system secures the data inside the documents you signed.
There are affordable tools that, in addition to the aforementioned, operate in a secure environment, with access controls, strict permissions and audit trails that go even further to secure the content and the lifecycle of when and what happened to a document.
Other obvious benefits include improved efficiencies, lower costs, an ability to track the progress, send reminders and report on the status of documents out for signature. It is also convenient, easy to use, environmentally friendly, and reduces errors and risks, to mention just a few of the benefits.
The ideal tool will not only serve as a signature, but will also be a self-contained “ecosystem” where you are able to, in the same secure way, facilitate the creation and version control of templates, document negotiation and management, whether you are a student managing your personal documents or a listed enterprise.
Once adopted and set up it will free you and/or your business up to do more of the things that really add value — and therefore really matter.
These tools also have a bright future that involve Natural Language Processing, Decision Trees, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and so much more.
When evaluating any tool, these are some of the minimum questions to ask:
- What security does it provide, not only to the tool but my signature, the content, the data, etc?
- Is it easy to use and can I do it myself, or do I need the service provider to assist?
- Should I need it, can it be an all in one document creation and management tool for me, or does it mean I will need multiple tools to achieve everything I need?
- What does it cost, and is it impacted by currency fluctuations?
- Does it offer local support in your time zone, at a time practical to you?
- Does it comply with laws governing privacy policies?
A number of well-established, big names exist in this space already. However, South Africans can proudly boast of a local company called Bizzamm which offers one of these complete, end-to-end systems. Not only does it rate among the top globally in terms of functions and features, but goes further by offering endless possibilities for improving paper-based processes for individuals, SMEs and large organisations alike.
Bizzamm is a level 2 B-BBEE contributor with more than 30% black woman ownership and a team of female top management. Local pricing, support and their understanding of the sub-Saharan African market make them a formidable force to contend with in this exciting space.