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eSignatures: A Critical Component for Enabling Paperless Offices

By Dick Weisinger

eSignatures and Digital signatures.  What’s the difference?  An electronic signature is a symbol that says that a person has agreed to sign a document.  A digital signature is stronger in that it attaches a secure certificate to the symbol that verifies the identity of the signer.

The electronic signature market is growing at an annual rate of 53 percent.  In 2017, Forrester estimates that there will be 700 million digitally signed transactions. Craig Le Clair, Forrester VP and Principle Analyst, said that in the eSignature business has been very active and that “there’s been a lot of consolidation — every pure play has been bought by someone.”

Adoption of digital signatures is helping bring businesses closer to the goal of being paperless.  Dan Puterbaugh, director and associate general counsel for Adobe Systems, said “if you’re in the position of having dozens, if not hundreds, of paper-based processes in the course of running your agency or municipality, all of a sudden you’re looking at being able to move to entirely paperless processes that are dramatically faster, really, really green and you’re taking out an entire step where, very often, handwritten documents come into an agency and they are then electronically scanned. You don’t need that step anymore, you’ve got a purely electronic process from end-to-end.”

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