Time to Value: A key focus for a new digital era

New Docusign research shows that time to value is one of the most crucial factors when undergoing digital transformation

According to new Docusign research, Time to Value: How to achieve business growth, competitive advantage, and productivity, time to value is one of the top factors for businesses when choosing SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions, following closely behind security (60%).  

The survey – developed in partnership with ACA Research – targeting 194 IT decision-makers and CIOs in large organisations across Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore – found that despite the belief that the pandemic has sparked a wholesale digital transformation of APAC businesses, organisations are still lagging behind when it comes to technical advancement -- with 30% of businesses are running just one to four SaaS solutions, compared to the national average of eight.

Time is money for organisations. Time is of value to people. The shorter the time to deploy technology, the higher the value gain from the deployment. 

SaaS: Growth and opportunity 

Cloud services have emerged as a new driving force for organisations - capable of changing operational models and creating a more innovative and flexible way of working.

Gartner forecasts end-user spending on public cloud services to reach US$396 billion in 2021 and grow 21.7% to reach US$482 billion in 2022. Gartner also predicts public cloud spending will exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending by 2026, up from less than 17% in 2021.

Since the pandemic, the adoption of workflow automation has accelerated significantly, with nearly 60% of electronic signature (eSignature) and contract lifecycle management (CLM) implementations occurring in 2020-2021.

These findings demonstrate the rapid change in old processes once reliant on face-to-face contact. As more businesses go hybrid and adopt SaaS solutions, CIOs will be able to manage their time more efficiently. But it takes time, training, and communication to ensure the adoption of new technology is successful. 

“Accelerated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, SaaS solutions, like eSignatures and CLM, will continue to have a significant role in business operations, specifically in communication and collaboration, employee engagement, and supply chain and logistics,” says Dan Bognar, Group Vice President and General Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan Docusign.

Cost vs reward

SaaS applications are now used widely across all business sizes and industry sectors, with the larger organisations having a higher number of applications. 

Crucially, the research found that more than 60% of organisations believe the time to value for eSignature (63%) and CLM (61%) was faster than expected. These solutions can also free up the time of CIOs to focus on higher value business activity.

For example, Gold Coast-based equity management platform, Cake – one of the top equity solutions for start-ups in Australia – has managed to rapidly expand to Singapore, the UK, India, and the US. 

“We have plans in 2022 to get to more than 20 countries,” says CEO and co-founder Jason Atkins. Cake’s partnership with Docusign has helped the company achieve global growth. Using Docusign’s eSignature also saves time, reduces risk, and allows the shareholders to proceed through the transaction much quicker. Cake’s entire workflow is now integrated with Docusign, simplifying the capital-raising process. 

“We’ve had about an 80% improvement in the time and cost to complete an employee equity plan or settle a capital raise,” explains Jason. With an integrated system, Cake only needs to enter the customer’s data once, helping reduce data entry processes by 90%.

How to achieve time to value success

Most organisations believe that they implement SaaS solutions effectively. Organisations in New Zealand claim to be the most effective (40%), compared to Australia (26%) and Singapore (20%) – indicating that there’s room for improvement within the space. 

As the use of digital tools, like eSignatures and CLM increases, the demand for education and customer and employee training to use the solutions confidently is also rising.

Yet, the demand for the type of training preferred varies significant by country – New Zealand IT leaders prefer in-app tutorials and product demos and tours. Whereas Singapore prefers case studies. And Australian organisations favour onboarding assistance from expert support staff (55%), comprehensive staff training (50%) and dedicated customer success managers (48%). 

Here lies an opportunity. Choosing the right training methods and appropriate messaging regarding the actual time to value required for SaaS solutions will help reassure decision-makers of the application’s value. 

Effective education will ensure long-term success

While most organisations have embraced SaaS products like eSignatures and CLM, there are still some barriers.  Higher ongoing costs, concerns regarding security, and difficulty integrating with existing solutions were some of the top concerns. Smaller organisations also need greater reassurance regarding security, integration, and the time required to implement the solutions.

Understanding these challenges can help organisations better prepare for a transition by investing in education, planning systems changeovers, and having a strategy to optimise capital and operating costs.

For instance, 45% of eSignature customers achieved value within one month of implementation, including 10% where time to value was immediate. CLM also ranks relatively high, with only 14% claiming the introduction is complex. Yet, the findings indicate that 56% of businesses have not yet introduced eSignatures. Meanwhile, only 19% of respondents said there was no demand for eSignatures from the workplace. 

There’s no doubt that SaaS applications have kept businesses afloat throughout the pandemic. By automating manual processes, and workflows, SaaS solutions can help increase productivity and collaboration, letting teams have more time for higher-value projects that drive the business forward. 

To learn more about time to value, download our eBook.