Digitizing printed contracts and agreements is the easy part: the value-add is in leveraging cloud capabilities to monetize the stored information

It sounds easy enough — digitizing business contracts, agreements and other documentation removes the potential friction and delay introduced by the need to print, send, and sign paper documents. 

However, storing and retrieving such digital documents efficiently is also important, as digitization does not guarantee good file or data management practices.

Dan Bognar, Group VP and GM (APJ), DocuSign

Organizations should take the time to assess their current documentation workflow automation processes and identify the specific steps that can be optimized. Here are five ways to go about the streamlining process.

    1. Establish a connected ecosystem
      A “system of agreement” refers to the functions associated with preparing, signing, acting on and managing agreements, so building connectivity between all these functions is key.

      It is crucial for business leaders to ensure that digital agreements in the Cloud are integrated into existing SaaS office-productivity and other applications currently in use.

      Through system integrations, ‘agreement workflows’ can be embedded into applications that employees are using. This will create a more holistic business model that is aimed at improving productivity and a better employee experience.

    2. Protect the data
      Legacy (that is, non-digitalized) agreement processes are often manual and fragmented. As a result, data becomes stored in multiple systems (both analog and digital), creating exposure to risk and infringement of data integrity.

      Therefore, the agreement workflow should be fully digitalized. Digital agreements and documents can then be captured and stored in a secure manner that does not compromise on the trust and privacy of the information.

      A cloud-centric agreement workflow should allow businesses to not only stored and retrieve documents easily, but also provide a full audit trail of changes made to the data.

    3. Reduce administrative work, boost capacity
      With the rise of e-signatures and e-documentation, people are now expecting speed and convenience at their fingertips when dealing with any organization.

      Streamlining your agreement workflow to deliver this experience also lets the documentation process act as a hub to coordinate and connect with related systems and processes. This helps create capacity, which frees up teams to focus on high-impact wins for the business rather than administrative tasks.

      With a fully digitalized agreement workflow, employees can be empowered to work efficiently on-the-go, on any device, at any time, at their convenience. This constant connectivity also helps them to work at a quicker pace.

    4. Ensure 24/7 accessibility via the Cloud
      Businesses run on agreements, and continuous availability of agreement cloud software is a necessity for mission-critical business applications. It is not an option to be down for maintenance or unanticipated problems.

      Today’s business challenge is designing a hybrid workflow that keeps all the benefits of traditional office life without sacrificing the productive, employee-centric aspects of remote-working. Therefore, business leaders should leverage the engine of digital transformation — cloud computing — to build the robust, flexible agreement workflows alongside all other areas of hybrid work.

    5. Reduce friction
      A great customer experience starts with a frictionless agreement. We have all experienced the pain and frustration of having to print, sign, and mail documents.

      Delays and miscommunication are the most common risks every business (more so the non- digital-first firms) is exposed to. This incurs unnecessary time and revenue costs to the company, resulting in decreased productivity. Today, when everyone expects convenience, start with digitizing contracts and digitalizing the end-to-end workflow around them.

With digitalized agreement workflows, businesses will be able to thrive more in the “anywhere economy” by offering good employee and customer experiences.