In this blog we have already talked about what you should consider when evaluating different solutions for electronic signature platforms, in order to offer a comprehensive and definitive solution for the needs of any company. Among the essential features, they should have an intuitive interface, be compatible with any device, and comply with the laws that define and regulate electronic signatures in the markets where the company works.
This said, what we want now to highlight is the process before deciding which eSignature solution best suits your company’s needs. That is, before evaluating the characteristics of the electronic signature solutions that exist in the market to choose one, we have to know at what point our company is and to what extent we need to implement an electronic signature solution.
To do this preliminary check, in this post we have selected the three basic questions that will allow you to determine where to start the implementation of an electronic signature in your company. And from there, decide which solution is best suited to what your company needs.
This post is also available in Spanish.
How to approach implementing the electronic signature in your company?
Everyone understands the advantages of an electronic signature solution: it saves time, paper and money for companies on one hand; and it is convenient and easy to use for the signer on the other hand, who doesn't need to use a printer nor scanner, and can sign any document or contracts in a matter of minutes from their mobile phones
Now, from the point of view from the company there are many questions that should be asked in order to decide how to start the implementation of the electronic signature. To make it easy, from Signaturit we recommend starting by answering these three questions:
1. What procedural flows are most convenient to use the electronic signature??
The first thing is to determine the work flows where the most documents need to be signed, whether the signers are internal (i.e. employees) or external (i.e. clients or suppliers). Once determined, it's necessary to describe those work flows in detail, having the following in mind:
What types of documents require a signature?
How often are they sent to sign?
Who is responsible for sending them and doing the follow-up?
Who should sign the documents?
What problems come from mistakes in collecting the signatures?
What computer programs are already being used in the process?
How much time is spent completing the workflow?
2. What regulations must your company’s signed documents comply with?
Your department or legal advisor should determine which national laws or international laws govern the electronic signature in the markets where your company operates. In this sense, there is a great variety of rules: some more permissive, such as in the United States; and others much more complex, such as in Europe, which establishes different types of signatures according on their degree of validity.
3. What level of security is best for you?
Once you have determined which laws the electronic signatures must comply with, given the markets where your company operates, if they are subject to complex regulations with various security levels, you should decide what type of signature best adapts to your needs.
In Europe for example, the EU Regulation Nº 910/2014 - which we have already discussed in detail in this blog, establishes three types of electronic signatures: simple, advanced and qualified.
Choosing one or another cannot be arbitrary: advanced signatures offer a much higher level of security for all parties that participate in a transaction. So, if the signatures that your organization makes or requests are sensitive, for example, to identity theft, and can carry serious risks or high penalties, you must select the electronic signatures that have the appropriate level of security. In order to avoid the case of identity theft, advanced or qualified signatures are the most appropriate, but not simple signatures.
After deciding which departments or work flows are the first to implement an electronic signature solution, which type of electronic signature is needed to comply with the corresponding regulations, and what level of security is required given the activity of the company, you are ready to evaluate the different electronic signature solutions that exist in the market and choose the best one for you.
Once you have selected a solution, a plan must be created so that its implementation can take place without affecting the usual work pace for those who will have to adopt the electronic signature solution. For this reason, we recommend training sessions for all people involved in the processes of requesting signatures. It is convenient for them to know what an electronic signature is, why it is needed, and how to feel comfortable with the electronic signature tool that has been chosen.
If after reading this post you still have questions about what policy or electronic signature solution your organization needs, in Signaturit we are at your disposal to help. If you are looking for a higher level of security that complies with the most demanding eSignature laws in the EU, we encourage you to try our advanced electronic signature solution for free, so that you can check with no obligation if we can be your partner in digitizing your signature processes.
This post is also available in Spanish.
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