In the corporate world, it is often seen that a manager or a representative flies across the sky to sign the contract or the contracts are signed and mailed for approval. And then these documents are manually recorded into electronic systems. However, these tedious tasks have been simplified via introduction of Digital and Electronic signatures.
Digital signature as the name suggests takes the concept of conventional signing and converts it into a unique electronic identity mark. This unique character binds the documents and the signer together, as the proof for authenticity of the document.
Electronic Signature, on the other hand can be elucidated as a sound (audio files), symbol (graphic image of signature or any other identity) or a process (like clicking on “I Agree”) attached or logically associated as a proof, adopted by a person with the wish to give consents. Electronic signatures, though easy to implement, are as equivalent to typing the names in a transcript, and are not judged as secured.
The Digital Signatures are being used in various organizations as proofs of consents and approvals and are considered as equivalent to set of hard copies. The documents are also liable to be used as legal documents in court matters, and can be used in estate documents also.
They are easy to created and locked up with the documents and are verified as a symbol of approval. Once locked, any changes in the documents make the signatures invalid and the documents are not considered to be original.
There are various technologies available these days which promote digital signature. Proper considerations should be made before deciding which digital signature solution an organization chooses. Some of the points to be kept in mind are:-
- The solution must be based on secure Digital signature Technology so that it is able to assure document integrity and legal agreement.
- The solution must offer support to various application softwares and must not be bound to certain specific tools.
- The documents containing e- signatures could be validated by any third party without using the same solution.
- The solutions must be user friendly and provide a graphical support, as human psychology gives an attractive and easy job, a priority over others amongst the users.
- The ownership costs for the installation of solution must be accounted in the beginning itself.
- The electronic signature solution should be operational as soon as it is deployed. Help desk and IT support should be minimal.