3 Tips to Guide a Successful Digital Transformation

The last 18 months have shown just how important it is for people to come together to solve problems. Many organizations faced both internal and external challenges, like pivoting to remote workforces, mastering virtual communications and all-digital transactions.

As chief technology officer at Docusign, I witnessed how incredibly resilient people can be when their personal and professional lives are upended—and the importance of having systems and processes that are just as resilient.

While we’re all eager to move on, it’s important to look at what we’ve learned from this time of uncertainty and sudden change. Now more than ever, I’m convinced that the world runs on agreements—between organizations and consumers, service providers, employees and more. And, unfortunately, they’re often supported by legacy systems and manual processes that add frustration and friction, eroding security and trust.

Process automation is a key success factor for companies that have embraced digital transformation, moving away from outdated paper-based and error-prone operations. No matter where you are in your digital transformation journey, you should consider the three process automation tips below.

1. Think about the entire agreement process

Innovations like electronic signature digitally transform the moment of agreement. But the agreement process is so much more than that. Looking at it holistically, there are numerous workflow steps before and after the signature that often rely on input and support from employees, partners and vendors. You must consider the whole ecosystem when automating processes.

With the right technology in place, organizations are now able to automate the entire end-to-end agreement process, including how they prepare, execute, store and analyze agreements.

2. Make your agreements work for you

Organizations can waste countless hours manually searching through contracts to answer legal and compliance questions. With contract analytics technology powered by artificial intelligence, you can derive valuable insights from your agreements. The ability to search on specific clauses across thousands of agreements with just a few clicks saves a huge amount of time—while reducing human error.

Harnessing AI offers many other benefits as well, such as helping you understand where you’ve negotiated well so you can replicate that success in future agreements. Overall, greater visibility into risks and opportunities reduces manual effort and can dramatically lower costs.

3. Focus on security and trust

Trust is a two-way street. It’s an ongoing relationship you’re building with your customers, partners and vendors that requires transparency and honest communication. Given all the players in an organization’s agreement ecosystem—and the sensitive information shared between them—security and trust absolutely cannot be overlooked.

Strong security mechanisms and robust operational processes that meet or exceed the highest international standards will protect your documents and data. Compliance with civil and common law jurisdictions for agreements is crucial to conducting business regionally and internationally. A robust infrastructure will deliver consistently high availability to provide assurance that services are there whenever they’re needed.

Even with all these security measures in place, building and nurturing trust within your ecosystem is about everyone operating from a level playing field—meaning everyone’s sharing information and staying true to their word. Your security is only as good as everyone else’s in your agreement ecosystem.

Transacting business online can be a scary proposition. And any time there’s a connected anything, it raises the risk of cyber threats. Ultimately, you need customers to trust that you’re protecting their information and will deliver what you’ve promised. It’s no different for your employees, partners and vendors. Evaluate your agreement processes from the inside out, addressing any of your own weak points first and then working with those in your ecosystem to do the same.

Successful digital transformation requires a holistic, proactive and continuous approach, yielding better relationships, better efficiencies and a better bottom line.

If you’d like to dive a bit deeper into the topic of security and trust, make sure to watch the panel discussion: Beyond Security: The Importance of Vendor Trust and Data Protection,” led by my colleague Emily Heath, Chief Trust and Security Officer at Docusign. Emily sits down with security experts from Okta, Netskope, Wiz.io and Carrier Global to discuss their approach to data protection, vendor trust and mitigating risk within their ecosystems.

Kamal Hathi
Chief Technology Officer