Ted Schadler, Forrester Vice President & Principal Analyst, has a question: what can we learn from digitally advanced firms?

Given the many ways that the digital revolution is changing business, it seems like an impossible question to answer. But through a series of in-depth surveys of business decisionmakers, Schadler has managed to get some answers – and there are some surprises.

He explained some of the findings in the main auditorium in Momentum London 2019.

A taste: 72% of advanced digital business said it is a high priority to innovate, versus just 16% in beginner businesses. In advanced businesses, 72% said they had success building a new generation of digital platforms, versus 9% for beginners.

As he dug deeper into the research, he highlighted that advanced digital businesses are more focused on their employees. Some 62% of advanced digital business said it was a high priority to improve the experience of employees, versus 12% for beginners.

What’s going on here? The answer is that the old days of top-down management are over. Any firm wanting to recruit new talent has to offer a great experience to employees – and empower them.

This theme of empowering employees was a feature of some of the case studies earlier in the day at Momentum London 2019. One FTSE 100 customer had produced a glossy video for its team that aimed to encourage them to use the DocuSign process to improve the experience for both customers and staff.

The Forrester technique of mapping advanced vs beginner businesses was also used in Forrester research commissioned by DocuSign that dug deeper into digital transformation and how it connected with the DocuSign Agreement Cloud.

As a one-sentence summary, Schadler said: “Transforming business requires rethinking agreements end-to-end.”

The Forrester State of Systems of Agreement, 2019 (SofA) research allows businesses to assess how far they have travelled in unlocking the power of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud – and how far they can yet travel.

(Spoiler alert: if you’re using fax machines and filing cabinets, you’re in the “beginners” category.)

DocuSign COO Scott Olrich was among those asking questions. He said he had been meeting customers throughout the day and some – particularly mid-sized and large firms – said they wanted fewer cloud solutions. What did Forrester see?

Schadler replied that some firms were indeed wanting to consolidate and there was likely a shortlist of winners, long-term. He highlighted DocuSign as a firm that integrated well with other cloud-based solutions and said: “As long as you are working with a cloud that integrates well into those [winning] clouds, you’re safe.”

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