According to a McKinsey Global Survey of Executives, companies have accelerated digitisation by three to four years during the pandemic, while the share of digitally enabled products accelerated by seven years. This leap is even greater in Asia Pacific, where the change has accelerated by 10 years.
The dispersion of people away from the office accelerated this digital transformation, which made simple tasks such as signing documents suddenly more challenging. As such, many organisations have turned to digital document signing solutions, but it is important to have a solution that not only enables document signing but does so in a safe and secure way — blockchain-enabled solutions are key to this.
The blockchain market is one of the burgeoning technologies with the global market expected to hit US$15.88 billion by 2023. The adoption of blockchain has emerged to provide solutions to threats of fraud and digital counterfeiting placed on businesses as they adapt to a new technology-centric workplace.
The question is, how does blockchain play a role in digital document signing? And what are the myths IT leaders should be aware of in the industry?
Five myths of digital document signing
Myth 1: Digital document signing solutions only focus on digitising signatures.
In contrast, a true digital document solution would allow multiple signatures and permit automated workflows.
Myth 2: All digital document signing solutions are the same. Many people believe that all solutions digitise signatures (ie, do the same thing), which is simply untrue. It is common for many documents to be produced and changed during negotiations, which can create challenges when it’s time to sign off on a final version.
Using a blockchain-enabled solution in this case is particularly effective since it ensures version control as every party is required to acknowledge and accept changes to the document. This increases overall transparency in the negotiation process.
Myth 3: Paper documents provide more security. Paper documents provide multiple gateways to be compromised, tampered with and copied. Digital documents stored on blockchain solutions are decentralised, inherently making them more secure as they allow users to maintain control of the information.
In addition, digital documents don’t require physical file storage space, and by moving to digital, it’s possible to save up to 90% in printing and ink costs.
Myth 4: Implementing digital document signing workflows is time-consuming. The idea of having to change your entire document management infrastructure sounds time-consuming, but it is much quicker than perceived. Paper-based processes are less efficient as they require the need to print, scan, file and duplicate — not to mention the time it takes, and logistical challenges involved with getting everyone to sign a document.
Myth 5: Digital document solutions are a needless cost. Digitising documents saves both time and money, while also supporting compliance obligations. As a short- and long-term investment, businesses see significant ROI when it comes to savings and productivity.
Digital documents are also boundary-less in nature. Despite COVID restrictions continuing to ease, travel is still limited in some parts of the world. Courier costs continue to rise, and supply chains continue to face disruptions. Creating, reviewing, signing, verifying and finalising digital documents can be done in a matter of minutes.
When blockchain is incorporated into digital documents, it produces compelling results. Businesses can save time and money by integrating these emerging digital document solutions into their workflows. This new era of signing and collaborating with documents has a plethora of benefits that vastly outweigh legacy paper-based processes, including productivity, security and transparency.