10 things to look for when selecting an eSignature solution
The traditional paper-based world is taking a back seat to digital processes in many prominent industries, including real estate, healthcare, accounting, and construction. If you’re evaluating eSignature solutions, we recommend that you factor the following 10 characteristics into your decision.
eSignature solutions benefits
- Works with PDFs, Word, Excel, Outlook, and other content apps you already use
Your eSignature solution should not make you change the way you work. DocuSign works with Adobe PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Outlook email, SharePoint, InfoPath, AutoCAD, and more.
- Makes signing easy
Choose an eSignature solution that’s simple to use for everyone in your organisation—and easy for your customers, too. The quick and intuitive DocuSign eSignature solution signing process usually takes 10 seconds or less—or one or two mouse clicks—which means less resistance or reluctance from signers. Your eSignature solution should also provide the features that are important to your organisation’s way of working, such as multiple types of signatures, customisable signatures, multiple signatures on a single document, batch signing processes, and multi-language support.
- Works with your existing content and workflow management applications
Organisations can gain the full benefit of automation investments by adding an eSignature solution which eliminates the need to reintroduce paper into the workflow at signing time. DocuSign works with SharePoint, OpenText, Oracle, Alfresco, Laserfiche, Nintex, K2, and other content and document management and workflow automation systems.
- Keeps your sensitive documents inside your IT domain
An eSignature solution should ensure that your documents remain inside your IT domain and are never saved on external, untrusted servers. The DocuSign eSignature solution helps prevent documents from being saved on untrusted servers and from being exposed to the risk of tampering and fraud.
- Provides you with complete control over its implementation
An eSignature solution should adapt to the specific processes, technologies, user management, and authentication requirements of your organisation—not the other way around. The DocuSign eSignature solution enables you to manage it in the way that best suits your internal regulations, governance policies, and standard operating procedures. It can also readily integrate with your organisation’s human resources department, IT, security and screening policies, and the user-provisioning and user-management systems you already have in place.
- Complies with the regulations that are relevant to your organization
The eSignature solution technology should be based on internationally accepted standards that comply with the country- and industry-specific regulations that are relevant to your organisation. The DocuSign eSignature solution helps customers meet the requirements of strict regulation and legislation, such as the 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 11, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and EU Regulation No 910/2014 (eIDAS).
- Enables anyone to validate the signature, even without access to the system
ESignature solutions that are based on standard public key infrastructure (PKI) technology seal the document with a one-time “fingerprint,” which is unique to both the signer and the document. The DocuSign PKI can help assure the sender that the signer is legitimate by indicating if a document has been altered. Without this PKI, DocuSign invalidates the digital signature to protect against forgery. This technology also ensures that the signature is transportable so that anyone inside or outside your organisation can use widely available software, such as Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office, to verify these parameters: who signed the document (signer identity), why they signed it (signer intent), and that it hasn’t been changed since it was signed (document integrity).
- Provides the ability to digitally sign via the web and mobile devices
Users must be able to sign electronically using any device, anytime and anywhere, whether they are at the office on their PC, at home on their tablet, or in the field using a mobile device. The DocuSign eSignature solution enables partners, customers, and other collaborators to add eSignatures to their documents without having to install software.
- Offers the option to self-host the system
The best eSignature solution allows you to choose between an on-premises server and a managed cloud-based system. The DocuSign on-premises eSignature solution ensures maximum flexibility and control, and the secure, cloud-based system enables you to start small and expand the number of signers as needed.
- Provides cost-effective IT management
It can be helpful to evaluate the total cost of ownership (TCO) when purchasing an eSignature solution. When choosing, consider product cost, deployment, digital certificate renewal fees, training, and support. In addition to the paper-related cost savings, such as printing, mailing, scanning, couriering, and archiving, the DocuSign eSignature solution provides a low TCO through quick installation, minimal operational impact, and little IT maintenance work.