IT spending is increasing. Well more than half (59%) of organizations expect to increase their technology spending this year, according to tech research and advisory group Omdia. It’s time to prove the value and create better experiences.
Enterprises have traditionally invested in technology to drive cost savings. But in recent years the focus around technology spending has shifted. Organizations now see technology as strategic and understand that the right technology can provide competitive advantage.
This movement sprouted well before 2019 and 2020. But it really took root during the pandemic when many people began working from home. That greatly accelerated digital transformation globally as organizations embraced tools, training and security to enable collaboration and ensure their businesses were resilient through the change.
In the new remote environment, and even in today’s hybrid work world, the old, manually intensive way of doing things no longer works. People have changed, too. They are no longer willing to put up with tedious, high-friction processes that slow productivity and progress. It’s time to create better experiences.
This calls for organizations to evaluate their processes and technology to ensure that they are positioned to support productive hybrid and remote work environments, address the needs and expectations of their customers and employees, and remain competitive and resilient.
Here is how to make the most strategic and sustainable technology buying decisions.
Adopt Productivity Tools That Digitize and Automate Workflows
High-friction processes can lead to dissatisfied customers and lost opportunities. And if employees are stuck doing manual, repetitive work and your processes interrupt their workflows, you may end up with unhappy employees, who may quit their jobs.
That can be a real problem, as it’s harder than ever to attract and keep talent. CNBC in March reported that “the Great Resignation is still in full swing.” And according to research firm Gartner, U.S. employee annual voluntary turnover is likely to jump nearly 20% this year.
Work to address these issues by identifying areas of your business that involve highly repetitive work or the greatest amount of friction. Focus on fixing those high-impact use cases first. Understand that document management may present a significant opportunity for improvement. Nitro research indicates that more than half (53%) of knowledge workers are still printing documents multiple times per day; 48% are signing/approving documents on paper; and a whopping 97% think that their organizations should improve document processes. Truly, it’s time to create better experiences.
Explore eSignature technology to enable your employees within and across your human resources, legal and sales departments and beyond to use web-based portals to immediately and easily make signature requests. Look at doing third-party integrations between your eSignature technology and enterprise systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft. Employ APIs to do custom integrations within your business to create seamless workflows.
Standardize Processes and Tools across Your Enterprise
Digital transformation tends to happen on an ad hoc basis, which often results in different departments and teams within the same enterprise using different tools.
Avoid fragmentation by choosing productivity tools that can work for everyone, everywhere – striving to create better experiences.
Focusing first on your highest impact or more simple use cases makes perfect sense. But if you standardize your process and tools, you can prove out solutions and then apply them more broadly across your enterprise over time. That way, your IT team won’t get stuck having to support a whole new set of tools and vendors. And your organization will be better equipped to unify workflows end to end, reduce costs, and consistently deliver quality user experiences through continuous improvement.
Provide Customers with Great Experiences from the Start
Customers increasingly expect that the organizations with which they do business should be easy to work with. That extends from the principles of interacting with the company all the way to the mechanics of doing business. And it starts the moment you do customer onboarding.
Make productivity tools available to all of your employees so that they can move more quickly. Not everyone needs to request signatures. But many people within organizations need to review documents before those documents reach the final destination for a signature. And there are many use cases – including adding initials to engineering diagrams, approving an employee handbook and reviewing expense reports – related to form filling and signing.
Use your new productivity tools and integrations to enable seamless workflows, deliver faster results and scale your business. Now you can quickly verify the identity of a person applying for a credit card, prepopulate the credit card application and get it signed all in a single step. This saves time and reduces the chance customers will lose interest during a high-friction process.
Be Sure to Address Compliance and Security
Make sure the signatures that you are acquiring are legally bound and defensible in a court of law. Establish access controls and mechanisms like one-time passwords to verify identity and minimize fraud. Use frameworks to ensure that your eSignature provider is running a tight ship.
Keep in mind the varying security rules in different regions and countries. Europe has lots of compliance and security rules, and some countries have requirements related to specific types of workflows. Norway requires an advanced signature for employee candidate offer letters.
This variation has prompted some multinational companies to adopt multiple eSignature solutions. Be aware that there are now single suppliers that can support such global needs.
Join the Sustainable IT Movement
You can also reduce your paper and toner use, lower your shipping usage and costs, and minimize travel with eSignatures. That can decrease waste, lessen deforestation and reduce carbon emissions. In the process, you will also align with the macro shift to sustainable IT.
Omdia says “sustainable IT will become more critical in 2022” and in the coming decade.
Whether you’re working to improve customer and employee experiences, increase consistency, grow revenue, or become more sustainable, eSignatures and modern document management can help by enabling you to streamline workflows, eliminate waste, create better experiences, and move forward at speed.