Most businesses deal with an enormous amount of documents almost daily. Depending on your business’ operating procedures, dealing with all that paperwork can seem bureaucratic, challenging, and time-consuming. This is more painful when it comes to signing documents, which range from approvals to promotion documents, and other transactions.
For many years, businesses have been utilizing manual methods to review and sign documents. These methods are time-consuming and prone to human error, which could affect the effectiveness of the whole process. For this reason, there was a need to introduce a more effective method of signing and authenticating documents. Enter digital signature.
Although it’s not a new concept, most people need to become more conversant with digital signatures, which have revolutionized how businesses handle and approve documents. The following is a quick rundown of what you need to know about digital signatures. In this article, you’ll learn what digital signature is, how to implement it into your business’s workflow, and more.
What Is Digital Signature?
Gone are the days when managers and other business leaders can only use manual methods to sign and authenticate a document. Technological advancement facilitated the introduction of a more efficient authentication method: digital signature.
A digital signature is a digitalized method to validate and authenticate the integrity of an email, digital document, financial transaction, and more. The digital signature will create a virtual fingerprint unique to the manager or business. Since it is easier to identify allowed users, digital documents are protected.
You can choose from several types of digital signatures to implement into your business workflow. They include:
- Simple Digital Signature: This is the basic type of digital signature. Typically, this can be produced by scanning a written signature onto a digital device. Another example of this type is an email signature inserted at the end of an email. However, this digital signature is not secured, since it lacks encryption.
- Advanced Digital Signature: This is the safest type of digital signature as it utilizes advanced solutions such as asymmetric cryptography technology. It’s also easy to see what changes were made to a document after it was signed.
The popularity of digital signatures has increased exponentially over the last few years. Due to this, there are many service providers you can choose from. For instance, consider reaching out to jSign or any other reputable service provider. However, conducting background checks is important to ensure you get a competent service provider.
How To Integrate Digital Signature Into Your Workflow
The following are tips to simplify integrating digital signatures into your workflow. They include:
- Make Documents Accessible Within The Organization
Your team members cannot work or sign any document if they don’t have access to it in the first place. Therefore, you need to establish a system that will manage the access and authorization of digital documents in the workplace.
However, it’s important to ensure you secure the documents while making them accessible to your team members. The security of your documents might be at risk—especially when they can be accessed by multiple users at any given time.
You can integrate the digital signature process into a web or mobile application. You can consider using email invitations, a mobile app, integrating a QR code on a printed document, logging in to a web portal, and more.
- Prepare A Template
It will be easier for your business to digitally sign documents when they are already prepared using a template. Aside from a digital signature, your documents must contain relevant data. A template will make it easier for every employee to fill in the necessary information and details.
Templated documents can help ensure your data is captured at the time of signing. As such, your digitally signed documents will be binding to other parties or will have the effect you intended.
- Establish Storage Policies
You’ll need to create a data storage policy to protect your digital signature and digitally signed documents to protect it from cybercriminals or hackers. For this reason, enquire from your service provider whether they offer secured data storage. Also, determine the costs associated with the data storage policy.
However, it’s important to understand that storage costs may depend on the data stored on-premises or in an external system. Lastly, don’t forget to establish authentication standards and policies to maintain the integrity of your documents.
Digital signatures have revolutionized how businesses and professionals authenticate documents. However, it’s important to ensure you’re equipped with the necessary know-how before implementing digital signatures into your workflow. The guide above could help you get started.