In recent years, the use of electronic signatures in business, commerce and consumer transactions has increased significantly. This trend has accelerated with the closing of most offices around the world and with the introduction of social distancing to society which must now work from home. The prospect of maintaining these restrictions at least in the short term seem more than reasonable to assume. As a result, people are looking more than ever for ways to continue operating despite the technological constraints they now face by working remotely. This includes researching electronic methods to sign documents and handle digital transaction management without having the need to meet in person. Many are also seeking more information on the validity and reliability of electronic signatures and how to execute documents and agreements in a practical and secure way without having to physically sign a page “in wet ink “.
The changes and developments with the pandemic are constantly evolving and it can be terribly hard to keep on top of all major progress and decline when it comes to using technology to digitally handle your documents. However, there are a few things that we can take away from the COVID-19 lockdown and learn from. Here are some of them.
1. Adaptability, flexibility and embracing changes fast
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed, and it is still changing the face and nature of work all over the world. It’s a fact that CEOs of many multinational companies, including Twitter, Microsoft, and Amazon, have recognized the need to adapt and evolve in terms of business process automation and digital transaction management. When we embrace these changes, when we adapt, we ensure not just the survival but also the growth of our enterprises.
COVID-19 taught us about the importance of not only being flexible and adaptable but also being quick to adapt to the changes. Digital transaction management helped a lot of businesses ensure that their digital documents flow as usual, even outside of the meeting rooms. Knowing that your documents are correctly signed, the identity of your signers verified and the whole funnel of information end-to-end encrypted brings a much-needed peace of mind in those uncertain times. Digital transaction management software allows you to ensure that the cornerstone of your business (your contracts, your documents and the data on your clients and employees) is untouched, safe and secure from the economic, financial and logistic dangers of this global pandemic. However, the right digital transaction management software needs to be as flexible and as quick to adapt to your business’s specific needs so that you can hit the ground running from day 1.
Lesson to be learned: Digital transaction management software need to be as flexible as you are. We learned that their implementation is crucial to maintain trust with your clients, bring peace of mind and protect what is most important for your business data flow.
2. Cooperation & Teamwork
Printing, signing, scanning, and sending back documents proved hard when only about 5% of people in Denmark own a printer. With meeting rooms moving digitally we can only expect the same for cooperation and teamwork. However, we have all observed motivation and concentration levels fading away when sitting in our chair at home for hours upon end. And we can all agree that the most tedious thing is to send email back and forth asking if a document is sent, signed or just lost in the tread of emails. Digital transaction management software provides you with a specific dedicated space where your team can collaborate on documents, see tracking details in real time and leave notes. You can also assign teams so that your message gets across to the right people at the same time.
Lesson to be learned: When productivity and motivation are low which often happens when one is working from home, digital transaction management software come in handy. We learned that digital collaboration can help keep your whole team up to date on the status of your important documents and help keep everyone aligned and focused on their tasks without urgent meetings and stressful caps lock emails.
3. Storing your documents in one place
We all know that one file cabinet that we are all afraid of opening and you fear the day someone would actually ask for a document to be found and reviewed. Yes, that one. However, since the lockdown the importance of that file cabinet has reached “essential” and you catch yourself “spawning” more of those cabinets in your own home waiting for the day that they will hopefully get reunited with the others. And you are lucky if you can even count the numerous places you keep documents in. How did digital transaction management software help? Sometimes the answer is hiding in the basics of a product- it brought all of our client’s documents together, in one place, on the cloud, where they can be easily found, accessed and reviewed.
Lesson to be learned: Pandemic or no pandemic, having a document management system in place is essential for structuring your documents, saving time searching through piles of paper and having a system of storing and categorizing different documents and data sources. Because you certainly wouldn’t like to mix up the contracts for your corporate food delivery company and your biggest accounting client. Yikes!
4. Data security
So far, you have adapted a digital transaction management system, you have collaborated and issued your first contracts and you have stored them in their respective folders. But there is an invisible enemy which has grown since we are all working from home. Can you guess who it is? That is right- digital security. And no, even if a VPN can help you stream Netflix movies, it wouldn’t be of much help for securing your documents.
The last piece of the digital transaction management puzzle is securing your stored documents. When we talk about the importance of security in your digital transactions people always go “I am sure this will never happen to me”. Black swan events do happen, whether you are ready for them or not. And we have a clear example of what happens when the whole world was not prepared for a black swan event. Encrypting your documents end-to-end ensures that no information can be forged, and you can always verify with the original. It also makes sure that the documents you see are only meant for your eyes and no one unauthorized has access to your data. One last thing to remember, which we tend to forget, is data deletion. Setting up automated data deletion dates not only helps you stay compliant as a business, but also removes all the sticky notes on your screen. Yes, we know you have them.
Lesson to be learned: Data security and end-to-end encryption in your digital transaction management software is just as essential as a robust VPN when working from home or the office. Not protecting your data can lead to a chain reaction where documents are being falsified, forged or straight out deleted from your system. As we are tired of hearing: taking actions sooner rather than later and using reliable protection can save us a lot of trouble in the long run.
Considering the current crisis, all sorts of businesses, industries and governments have urgently shifted perspective and adapted their practices to the new normal- working remotely and opting for a digital transaction management solution. It is hoped that the crisis will act as a catalyst for exponential growth of the usage of the latter and substantial progress in the use of technology to execute documents more generally, including documents that have traditionally been considered to be unable to be executed electronically. But above all, the change that we would like to witness would be one of mindset; changing how digital transaction management solutions are viewed. Going from a “want” and an “extra” to an Essential part of any business. And what better time to start anew?