3 Reasons to Deploy E-Signatures in Government

Mary Ellen Power, December 3, 2014
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The public sector is facing incredible disruption across a variety of regions, and the transition to digital technologies and services plays a key role in this process. Consumers are embracing smartphones and tablets, and those devices are showing up in government offices as well. At the same time, paper-based documents and records are increasingly being replaced by electronic records management processes and the old, slow ways of getting the job done in government are starting to be replaced by more flexible, intuitive processes and procedures.

Trying to operate more efficiently in government hinges on removing some of the roadblocks in the way of operational efficiency. Electronic signature software plays a critical role in this process. A few specific reasons why government organizations should consider an e-signature investment include:

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1. Keeping projects on schedule

Government agencies spend a lot of their time on project management, and those efforts often involve maintaining connections between stakeholders in diverse public agencies and private sector stakeholders. getting these groups together to communicate effectively hinges on creating open lines of communication. Historically, these tasks would be handled in meetings, leading to all sorts of potential for inefficiency as schedules change and meetings get canceled. All told, project delays can add up fast, leading to financial problems and new challenges balancing the budget.

Moving all of these tasks to the digital world with tools like conference calls or virtual meetings can make it easier to find the time to get people together to talk about projects and keep them on schedule. These types of processes are becoming more common, but signing or updating contracts remains a common roadblock. This is where the move toward electronic records management comes in handy. Digitizing document creation, distribution and storage is feasible for most government organizations. Furthermore, electronic signatures can serve as the linchpin that puts all of these processes together by letting project stakeholders sign contracts as efficiently as possible.

2. Interact with constituents

Transparency is a major challenge in the public sector, particularly in state, county and municipal government that interact so closely with their residents. Electronic records management practices make it easier to establish transparency because documents and records can be gathered and distributed with greater ease. However, there are many places where government organizations will need to gather signatures on documents, particularly when residents are applying for access to government services.

Collecting these types of forms and analyzing them quickly is absolutely essential because it ensures that the government provides its services in a timely and accurate manner. However, there are significant barriers to finding success in this area. In particular, ensuring that forms are filled out correctly, contain all the information they need and are properly filed. E-signature solutions can be used to verify form accuracy before it is submitted, and are particularly adept at identifying when various fields within the form are not filled in. Establishing electronic signature policy for interactions with residents makes it easier to collect key information and process it, streamlining service delivery and reducing costs.

3. Enable mobile device use

Smartphones and tablets are disrupting government operations by giving employees complete freedom to work regardless of their location. Furthermore, many consumers are implementing mobile devices as their primary computing option, or as their preferred method for interacting with various services. Government organizations that want to keep up the technologies that their employees and constituents use will need to start embracing mobility, and e-signatures serve as a critical enabler in this area. E-signature software can support mobile signing methods, making it a key strategic technology enabler.

Government organizations face many challenges trying to adjust to new technologies and services. Check out our use case resource to get a clearer idea of how you can leverage e-signatures effectively.