The difference between digital leaders and laggards, according to Forrester 

If there’s one thing we can all take from the rollercoaster ride of the past 18 months, it’s this: to thrive in business, you need secure, cloud-based digital processes in place. In fact, according to a new report from Forrester, any business that doesn’t yet have a digital strategy runs the risk of becoming obsolete. 

The Forrester report, The State of Systems of Agreement, 2021, explores where organisations are at when it comes to the digitisation of their agreement processes. Fortunately, the research finds there are only a handful of organisations out there today who aren’t using some form of modern digital strategies. Yet at least one-third fall into the ‘digital laggards’ category when it comes to the maturity of their agreement processes (almost half, 46%, are classified as neutral, while 20% are disruptors).

Who are the digital disruptors?

The digital disruptors are those who are further along the path of digitising all phases of the agreement process. So, they are automating everything from the preparation of agreements, by using templates, to the storage, management and analysis of agreements, by using advanced technologies like AI. 

What do digital disruptors do differently?

According to Forrester, there are three key traits that distinguish digital disruptors from their digitally-dawdling peers when it comes to how they manage their systems of agreement.

1. They process more agreements

The report finds that 82% of digital disruptors process over 500 agreements each month, compared to 67% of digital laggards. Of course, this makes sense. The more agreements you’re dealing with, the higher the likelihood you’ll want to invest in technology to expedite and simplify the process. 

What it means, though, is digital leaders are better placed to manage high volumes of contracts, and they can do so at a lower cost. 

2. They use analytics

There’s a stark divide between the leaders and laggards when it comes to using more advanced technologies. Forrester finds that 40% of digital disruptors use contract management software, compared to just 3% of laggards; and that 33% of disruptors use contract analytics software, compared to only 2% of laggards. 

These powerful technologies are proving to be a game-changer for organisations, helping to manage business continuity and risk, uncover opportunities and accelerate time-to-revenue. 

3. They reap key business benefits

Unfortunately, digital laggards get pulled further behind due to the time and effort wasted managing manual processes. By comparison, digital disruptors are perfectly poised to embrace tangible benefits that help them get further out in front. According to Forrester, some of the key benefits of implementing digital agreement processes include:

  • A better customer experience (57%)
  • Faster deal cycles (54%)
  • Lower error rates/error reduction (49%)
  • Time savings (48%)
  • Revenue growth (45%)

Ready to become a disruptor?

It’s pretty clear that success in business today requires digital agility. Forrester goes so far as to say, “All digital laggards will eventually become digital disruptors or die out.”

If you want to turn that ‘eventually’ into an ‘immediately’, then the time is ripe to explore how your organisation could embrace a modern system of agreement. Learn how you can keep your business moving in the right direction with the Docusign Agreement Cloud, or get in touch today for help leapfrogging the laggards and entering leadership territory.

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