With so many old-school industries benefiting from e-signatures, when will the tech sector get on board?

If there’s one industry you’d expect to have embraced the paperless office by now, it’s tech. But even in the software sector, there’s still a lot to gain by replacing paper-based processes 

Even in a future-focused business, old habits die hard. While pundits have been talking up the paperless office since the late 70s, the average office worker still uses roughly 10,000 sheets of paper every year, while US corporations (tech included) spend $120 billion annually creating, signing, sending, and filing hardcopy documents.

It’s like the paradigm shift that didn’t happen. And handwritten signatures are a big part of the problem. 

Even in the industry driving digital transformation, there’s something about physically signing a piece of paper that people find hard to let go of.

We totally get it; signatures are special. But hardcopy creates loads of headaches. Drafting and sharing paper documents efficiently takes time. If a document needs approval or sign-off, it has to be physically printed and delivered by hand, followed by tracking, receiving, scanning, and filing. 

It’s the polar opposite of digital: mechanical, manual, costly, time consuming, and full of all the risks human error can bring. 

Today, there’s a way for tech companies to walk the digital talk and bring the paperless, fully digital workflow of the future a step closer to reality. 

E-signatures are it. 

Why should tech embrace e-signing?

One great reason to consider replacing ink on paper is that digital signatures embody the digital ideal. What used to require physical back & forth between multiple links in an approvals chain can be handled with a few taps on a smartphone screen.

That represents one of the core values of digital transformation. And the business benefits are undeniable:

Collaborate with everyone on your team

E-signing allows you to work even more closely with colleagues, ensuring everyone has access to the most up-to-date planning documents and product roadmaps. SignRequest automatically tracks and date-stamps every change to a document, so you know instantly who took what action and when. 

Create a Teams account and you can share documents quickly and securely amongst a select group, making additions, edits, and revisions together while moving things forward as a group.  

Streamline cloud workflow

Because it’s based in the Cloud, SignRequest can integrate with other cloud-based platforms like Google Workspace, and Slack. We work with just about any electronic document format you can name, including Google Docs and PDFs. 

When that new product feature you’ve scoped gets signed off, why not send an alert via Slack to let the whole team know?

Know the status of every signature request

SignRequest gives you one shared space where you can store, manage, edit, and track all the documents you’ve sent out for sign-off. Login to your account from desktop or mobile and see the real-time status of each request quickly. You’ll know who’s signed and who hasn’t. You can also assign tasks and know when they've been actioned. 

When more than one person needs to approve or sign a document, set a signing order to align with the chain of command. You can even create a signing hierarchy: for example, by designating people in the dev and product management teams who need to sign, those who only have to approve, or those who you want to include as an FYI.

Strengthen your branding

Brands and products launch and evolve quickly in tech, so your branding needs to be reinforced in every communication. SignRequest makes embedding your brand identity on every document easy, from logos and colors to fonts and page layouts. 

With document templates, you can be sure that taglines, legal language, or other minimum content requirements are reflected precisely in every document. Create a document once, then save it as a template for re-use again and again.

Parkos: an e-signing success story

As people slowly return to traveling, digital parking platform Parkos is busier than ever. The tech company connects travellers with airport parking lots, helping the parking industry sell more of its available daily inventory of spaces.

When Parkos sells its services to a new airport parking lot customer, a rapid onboarding process is essential. The faster the company can get new parking inventory online, the faster it can start earning revenue.

Yet doing business across different cultures, countries, and languages can be challenging. It’s important that the process of getting an agreement signed doesn’t become a business blocker.

With e-signatures from SignRequest, Parkos has taken the friction out of customer acquisiton. ‘We’re much more scalable as a result,’ says co-founder Arne Bos. ‘Pricing was an important consideration, and we needed a multilingual solution for the different countries we operate in.’

‘When I compare digital signing to a manually signed contract, we can grow faster, and enter new markets more easily. We’ve sped up the process from months to less than a week.’

Tech tools for a tech-driven world

Digital transformation is obliterating old-school business processes wherever it lands, so isn’t it funny that hardcopy and handwritten signatures still dominate so much office admin, even in the tech sector? 

E-signing can help digital-first companies jump the final hurdle to paperless by eliminating the need to print, deliver, sign, return, scan and file paper documents. What used to be a multi-step manual process becomes virtual — and easier for everyone involved.

In a world dominated by remote working, cloud solutions, tablets and smartphones, handwritten signatures have ceased to be practical. They create blockages and process friction that just doesn't sync with today's agile ways of working. 

When prototypes are ready, and product management needs to sign on the dotted line, e-signatures are the fastest, cheapest, and tech-friendliest way to go.

Want to give e-signing a try? Choose one of our plans and trial SignRequest free for 14 days.

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