Forrester’s 4 key recommendations for moving to a digital system of agreement

Forrester’s recent report on The State of Systems of Agreement, 2021 found that at least one third of organisations are ‘digital laggards’ when it comes to how they handle their business agreements. Held back by an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality, many of these organisations have experienced a wake-up call over the past 18 months – yes, systems are broken, and yes, they need fixing. 

If your organisation is lagging behind when it comes to the digitisation of agreement processes, Forrester makes four key recommendations in the report. These are a great place to start for any business seeking to accelerate transformation.

1. Identify your organisation’s critical pain points

Any manual step in the process of preparing, signing and managing contracts  – be it the printing out of paperwork, the re-keying of another person’s near-illegible scribbles into a database, or the filing of said paperwork into an archaic filing cabinet – exacerbates the risk of delays and errors. Manual processes in systems of agreement can also have wider ramifications, such as a poor customer experience and reputational damage, slower time to revenue, and security and compliance issues. 

Identifying the risks to your business is your first step in moving towards digital processes. In doing so, you can build your business case and start formulating your plan to address them. 

2. Accelerate your journey on the maturity scale 

As we explored in our previous blog, there’s a stark divide between the digital disruptors and the digital laggards, with the disruptors forging ahead in leaps and bounds when it comes to how they manage their agreements. 

Moving up the maturity scale means embracing technologies that automate systems of agreement before and after the signature phase. So, as well as using eSignatures, mature organisations are also using digital solutions for contract management and contract analytics, and are reaping strategic benefits such as improved customer experience and data visibility across the organisation. 

To tackle this step, Forrester recommends working with process professionals, enterprise architects and key business executives to implement consistent and mature approaches across your organisation. 

3. Design for high transaction volume and broad deployment

At Docusign, we’ve always been a firm believer of starting small and incrementally expanding the number of agreements you digitise. But even when starting small, you should do so with standardisation and scalability in mind. Think of your ideal state – where all agreements across all corners of the organisation are digitised – and build for that state.  

This way, your digital system of agreement strategy will more easily scale across the organisation – helping to accelerate your journey up the maturity ladder, so you can reap broader business benefits faster. 

4. Embrace continuous delivery and plan for change

As with any digital transformation project right now, it’s important to remain agile. Assume that technology and business requirements will continue to shift, and that disruptions like COVID-19 will continue to affect operations. 

So ditch that ‘set and forget’ mindset and instead build a culture of continuous improvement and continuous delivery, not just for this project of digitising your systems of agreement, but for all. 

Explore more insights

The four recommendations above are just a short summary of the Forrester report. For a clearer picture of the current state of systems of agreement in organisations globally, read the full report

We’re also here to help you accelerate your journey towards digitisation. Contact us to get started.

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