Paper works, paper contracts, paper billings, paper documents… Businesses have used paper as an important form of documentation and correspondence. It was said that when it is put on paper, it is final and indisputable. Memos put on paper implies a serious offense made by an employee. Contracts on paper that are signed by both parties, are binding and with legal implications. Utility bills are printed on paper so that consumers can have something to represent as proof of their contact with the company. Receipts and invoices are printed on paper as references of transactions and deliverables. Paper documents can be archived, filed, sorted out, and stored in offices as hard data copies of valuable company information, which can be retrieved anytime in the future, or as needed.
Who would have thought, that there will come a time that businesses would be dealing with paperless engagements? There weren’t even evidences that paper will be outmoded by something so significant as electronic or digital media. This isn’t an issue of diminished purpose, but rather an evolution of the traditional to the modern. Nonetheless, at this point, this could still be a matter of preference, or the adoption of both for maximized benefits.
Ink Vs. Paperless Offices
No, there are no ongoing arguments. But as time passed, paperless trends are starting to become more prevalent with business transactions. This is due mainly to the fact that there is a huge percentage of businesses adopting computerized systems which are integrated with each other. Thus, creating and sending documents electronically is a more sensible, and convenient thing to do.
Rooted to the economic aspect, ink documents or paper documents, come into the light for its practicality and formality. Commonality, is also an appropriate term to address paper trends in the business. What is common, what is basic, and what is standard, should be adopted. It could also be the safest, and more stable form. Despite of it being a mature business aspect, the paper still holds its place for its functionality and purpose, and most likely to remain longer than what we expect.
Whereas in the past, electronic documentation and digital correspondence are but mere alternatives to paper. It also went to transition as being the standard, with electronic documents serving as backups. But today, paper and paperless both comprise significant roles in the business, sometimes with interchangeable functions, but the increasing popularity of paperless transactions could set back the paper’s place, a bit.
Let us establish some practical cases wherein paperless documents could be more advantageous than using paper. This is done to make some points clear, so that we make a choice whether to print or not to print, go paper or paperless, with regards to practicality and better benefit:
Case number 1: Data can be kept in huge amounts when in electronic form, than when written on paper.
Case number 2: Data can be varied in form, type and be interactive when presented in electronic form, unlike when on paper.
Case number 3: Data can integrate more information about sources or revision history than when it is on paper.
Case number 4: Data can be more efficiently sent, shared or received when in electronic form, than when it is on paper.
Case number 5: Data in electronic form can have a more dynamic content than when it is on paper.
Case number 6: Data in electronic form are harder to lose, or be destroyed, than when it is on paper.
Case number 7: Data in electronic form can be easily edited, changed, modified, or altered when it is in electronic form than when it is on paper.
Case number 8: Data in electronic form can last longer than when it is on paper.
Case number 9: Work collaboration is more achievable when working with electronic data than with paper.
Establishing a Case: Business Contracts
Businesses run on the aspect of agreements and mutual obligations. It is not just a simple case of legalities and formalities, but rather an aspect of consistent and reliable trusting and confident partnership. Typically, businesses work under the principles of contracts, to sustain all of these.
Contracts are important in businesses in establishing a transparent and regulated relationship among its colleagues or to its clients. It is practical, and upfront. It also serves
Contracts are mostly associated with complex terminologies, lengthy clauses and narratives, legal jargons, and lawful consequences or criminal liabilities for breach. But the dominant aspects it really implies, are its legality and formality, and must be regarded highly, especially after concerning parties affix their signatures on it. A credible legal department, then notarizes it, and will be implemented as soon as what was said in it.
There I mentioned, signature. Signatures in business are shorthand forms of your name which implies your identity, together with the understanding of, and agreement with what, is written on the contract where you affixed it. It authenticates the contract on your side of the party, and it binds you to it.
Putting your signature on a paper document or contract, is relatively fast and easy. Yet, this is quite challenging when dealing with electronic documents. It is not just the “affixing” part that is not simple, but authenticating it, as well as securing it, is what makes it more complicated to do. Welcome the entry, of digital signature tools.
Definition and Aspects of Digital Signatures
In the paperless world, digital signatures should be able to duplicate the degree of authenticity of its execution. There should be a form of encryption, or strict verification procedures to commence, before a person can use it for his transactions. Digital signatures can be affixed directly to electronic documents, without the need to print documents first, then scan it again with your physical signature affixed to it.
Encryption is the process of turning data into a series of codes, for the purpose of transferring it into an electronic network, and decode it on the recipient side with a matching key. Authentication is a way of verifying the information as well as its source. Encryption and authentication work hand in hand for digital signatures.
There are several ways to commence authentication in electronic networks, which not only applies to electronic signature maker, but to other digital documents as well:
This is the common way of authenticating accounts and access to documents. A system requires the correct combination of a username and its password, before proceeding on your account.
Checksum corresponds to an automated way of authenticating data, which uses packets. This is done wherein all data undergo a constant process of comparing its corresponding packet size with an exact value, that connotes a verified information.
CRC, or Cyclic Redundancy Check, has a concept that is similar with checksum, only that the process behind it is more complex, in order to execute a more secure way of authenticating data. Resulting discrepancies from checksum and CRCs are mostly attributed to errors, but in some case, it can help detect fraudulent or intentional attack over the data.
- Private key encryption
Private key encryption corresponds to a unique code assignment for each computer that will be engaged in transmission and reception of data. Access to the system using a computer that doesn’t know the corresponding key will not be successful.
- Public key encryption
Public key encryption is partly private key, which can create an associated public key that can be shared with other computers to authorize access.
Advantages of Digital Signature Software
Digital signature software can verify the identity of the creator of the signature, and even check if there are discrepancies or suspected anomalies when there will be such cases. Since a personal aspect of your identity is concerned here, it is a must to ensure that it is well protected when used.
Using online electronic signature can make a way for more advantages in businesses in terms of cost and transmission efficiency, without compromising on security. It includes:
- Digital documents are actually easier to amend or edit using different applications and tools, making it simple to affix digital signatures to it. The use of an electronic signature tool makes it easy for the user to use his signature and turn it in electronic form. Affixing it in multiple documents is also easier through electronic signature software.
- Cost efficiency is also an added feature n using sending signed digital contracts, that lessens the need for additional courier expense. Transmission and reception of digital contracts are easily tracked.
- Tampering and fraud is almost not possible with digital signatures, because of the use of high technology and sophisticated ways of security through encryption and authentication methods.
- The legality of a digital signature is the same as with the handwritten one. Digital signature software add verification tags to it like a date and a time stamp.
Going full digital in businesses might not be fully realizable at the moment. But with the help of paperless alternatives to other business aspects, especially with the crucial ones, can make significant growth and improvements in the long run. Businesses are also eased knowing that there are top digital signature tools, which can help replicate the normalcy in executing contracts, official correspondences and important agreements between businesses, and even to its clients.
Check out these digital signature tool reviews at CrowdReviews.com to know more about the targeted benefits of using digital signatures in your business transactions and agreements.
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