Navigating the Fiscal Year-End

Navigating the Fiscal Year-End

Strategies for a Successful Close

As businesses approach the fiscal year-end, the pressure to close the books accurately and efficiently mounts. This period is crucial for financial health and compliance, requiring a well-coordinated effort from all departments. In this final installment of our fiscal year-end series, we explore strategies to ensure you’re navigating the fiscal year-end properly. Laying the groundwork for a prosperous new fiscal year.

Preparing for the Year-End Close

Create a Checklist: Develop a comprehensive checklist that outlines all tasks and deadlines for the year-end close. This should include financial reporting, tax filings, inventory counts, and any other relevant activities.

Review Financial Records: Conduct a thorough review of financial records to ensure accuracy and completeness. Identify and rectify any discrepancies or errors well in advance of the year-end.

Coordinate with Departments: Ensure all departments are aligned and aware of their responsibilities in the year-end process. Clear communication is key to a smooth close.

Update Accounting Systems: Ensure your accounting software is up to date with the latest tax rates, regulations, and reporting standards. This will streamline the reporting process and reduce the risk of errors.

Leveraging Technology for Efficiency

Automate Processes: Utilize accounting software and automation tools to streamline repetitive tasks such as data entry, reconciliations, and report generation.

Implement Cloud-Based Solutions: Cloud-based accounting systems offer real-time access to financial data, facilitating collaboration and remote work, which can be especially beneficial during the year-end crunch.

Utilize Data Analytics: Employ data analytics tools to gain insights into financial trends, identify areas for cost savings, and support decision-making for the upcoming fiscal year.

Managing Tax Obligations

Engage in Tax Planning: Work with tax professionals to identify tax-saving opportunities and ensure compliance with all tax regulations.

Review Tax Changes: Stay informed about any changes in tax laws that may affect your business and adjust your tax planning strategies accordingly.

Prepare for Audits: Organize and retain all necessary documentation to support tax filings and financial statements in case of an audit.

Setting the Stage for the New Fiscal Year

Reflect on Performance: Analyze the past fiscal year’s performance, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Use these insights to inform future strategies.

Set Clear Goals: Establish clear, measurable goals for the new fiscal year. Align these goals with your overall business strategy and ensure they are communicated effectively to all stakeholders.

Budget for Success: Develop a detailed budget that reflects your strategic goals and allocates resources efficiently. Regularly review and adjust the budget as needed throughout the year.

CONCLUSION

The fiscal year-end is a critical time for businesses, demanding meticulous planning, coordination, and execution. By adopting a structured approach, leveraging technology, and focusing on continuous improvement, companies can navigate the year-end close with confidence and set the stage for a successful new fiscal year. Remember, the effort invested in a smooth year-end close pays dividends in the form of accurate financial reporting, compliance, and strategic insights for future growth.

Streamline Fiscal Year-End

With Electronic Signatures and Forms

Streamline Fiscal Year-End

As businesses approach their fiscal year-end, the focus intensifies on closing books, financial reporting, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. This period is often characterised by a flurry of activities, including finalising contracts, tax filings, and internal audits. In this high-pressure environment, electronic signatures and electronic forms emerge as powerful tools that can streamline fiscal year-end for you. Adopting these digital solutions can transform the fiscal year-end from a stressful ordeal into a smooth, efficient procedure.

The Role of Electronic Signatures and Forms

Electronic signatures and forms allow documents to be signed and filled out digitally, eliminating the need for physical paperwork. This technology is legally recognized in many jurisdictions, making it an effective solution for executing contracts, tax documents, and compliance forms. By integrating these digital tools into their operations, businesses can achieve a higher level of efficiency and accuracy, crucial for the demands of fiscal year-end tasks.

Efficiency in Document Management

One of the most significant challenges during the fiscal year-end is managing the volume of documents. Electronic forms streamline the creation, distribution, and collection of these documents, allowing for quicker turnaround times. Electronic signatures further expedite the process by enabling instant signing. From anywhere, at any time, using a computer or mobile device. This immediacy can be particularly beneficial for businesses operating across multiple locations or those with remote employees.

Accuracy and Compliance

Accuracy is paramount in financial reporting and compliance documents. Electronic forms can be programmed to include mandatory fields, validation rules, and drop-down menus to minimize errors. This ensures that all necessary information is accurately captured. This feature is invaluable during the fiscal year-end when the accuracy of financial statements and tax documents directly impacts a company’s compliance status and financial health.

Security and Audit Trails

Electronic signature solutions offer advanced security features, including encryption and tamper-evident seals, ensuring that signed documents remain secure and unaltered. Moreover, these platforms typically provide a comprehensive audit trail, detailing every action taken on the document, including who signed it, when, and where. This level of traceability and accountability is crucial for meeting regulatory requirements and facilitating audits, both internal and external.

Cost Savings and Environmental Benefits

Transitioning to electronic signatures and forms can result in significant cost savings by reducing the need for paper, printing, and physical storage. Additionally, it aligns with sustainability goals by minimizing the environmental impact associated with paper consumption and waste. For businesses looking to enhance their corporate social responsibility profile, this is an attractive benefit.

Conclusion

As businesses navigate the complexities of the fiscal year-end, the adoption of electronic signatures and electronic forms offers a strategic advantage. These digital solutions enhance efficiency, accuracy, and compliance while providing significant cost savings and environmental benefits. By embracing electronic signatures and forms, companies can not only streamline their fiscal year-end processes but also position themselves for greater operational agility and resilience in the future. In an era where digital transformation is key to competitive advantage, leveraging these technologies is not just an option; it’s a necessity for business success.

 

Understanding Fiscal Year-End

and Its Importance for Businesses

Understanding Fiscal Year-End

In the world of business and finance, the term ‘fiscal year-end’ often surfaces, especially as companies gear up for annual reporting, tax submissions, and strategic planning for the upcoming year. Understanding fiscal year-end, what it means and its implications is crucial for both budding entrepreneurs and established business leaders.

What is Fiscal Year-End?

Fiscal year-end refers to the last day of a company’s accounting year, a date that marks the conclusion of a standard 12-month financial reporting period. Unlike the calendar year, which ends on December 31, a fiscal year can conclude on any day of the year and is primarily chosen based on the company’s operational needs and industry practices.

Why is Fiscal Year-End Significant?

Financial Reporting: Fiscal year-end is critical for preparing financial statements. These documents, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, provide a snapshot of the company’s financial health. They are essential for investors, lenders, and other stakeholders to assess the company’s performance and make informed decisions.

Tax Purposes: This period is significant for tax planning and filing. Companies must calculate their income, expenses, and profits for the fiscal year to determine their tax liability. Proper tax planning around the fiscal year-end can result in significant tax savings and compliance with tax laws.

Budgeting and Planning: Fiscal year-end is a time for reflection and planning. Companies analyze their performance over the past year and use these insights to develop strategies, set goals, and create budgets for the coming year. This process is vital for growth and sustainability.

Regulatory Compliance: Many regulatory requirements are tied to the fiscal year-end. Companies must adhere to various legal and statutory requirements, including filing annual reports, holding shareholder meetings, and renewing licenses.

Challenges and Considerations

Choosing an appropriate fiscal year-end can pose challenges. Retail businesses might prefer a fiscal year-end right after the holiday season when their accounts are most flush. Conversely, educational institutions may choose a year-end aligned with the academic calendar. The key is to select a period that offers the most accurate representation of a company’s financial performance and aligns with industry norms.

Best Practices

To effectively manage the fiscal year-end process, companies should:

Maintain Accurate Records: Keeping detailed and accurate financial records throughout the year is essential for a smooth year-end process.

Plan Ahead for Tax Obligations: Engaging in proactive tax planning can help businesses optimise their tax positions.

Engage in Regular Financial Reviews: Periodic reviews of financial statements can identify issues early, allowing for timely interventions.Seek Professional Advice: Consulting with financial advisors, accountants, and tax professionals can provide valuable insights and ensure compliance with complex regulations.

Conclusion

Understanding and effectively managing the fiscal year-end is a cornerstone of successful business management. It not only ensures compliance with legal and financial obligations but also provides a foundation for strategic planning and growth. By acknowledging its importance and preparing accordingly, businesses can turn this annual milestone into a powerful tool for financial health and long-term success. There are a lot of different documents that go into a businesses fiscal year-end, and Conclude has solutions to streamline those document processes. Reach out to us today, and let Conclude assist you in making your fiscal year-end a breeze.

 

How to Get Digitally Ready for 2024

How to Get Digitally Ready for 2024

As we step into 2024, the digital landscape is evolving faster than ever. For businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve, getting digitally ready is not just an option; it’s a necessity. Here are key strategies on how to get digitally ready for 2024.

Embrace Electronic Signature Solutions

In an increasingly paperless world, electronic signatures are becoming the norm. By integrating solutions like Wacom signature pads, your business can streamline document signing processes, enhance security, and improve customer experience. These tools not only expedite agreements and contracts but also demonstrate your commitment to modern, eco-friendly practices.

Invest in Cybersecurity

With the rise of digital transactions, cybersecurity should be a top priority. Ensure your business has strong security protocols in place to protect sensitive data. Regularly update your security software, train your employees on cybersecurity best practices, and consider hiring a cybersecurity expert to safeguard your digital assets.

Leverage Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. Migrating to cloud-based services allows for better data management and accessibility, making collaboration and remote work more seamless. Evaluate your current infrastructure and consider how cloud services can enhance your operations.

Focus on Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is crucial in reaching and engaging with your target audience. Invest in SEO, content marketing, and social media strategies to boost your online presence. Stay updated with the latest digital marketing trends and tools to effectively communicate your brand’s message and value proposition.

Adopt Data Analytics

Data is the new currency in the digital age. Utilize data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational efficiency. Implementing analytical tools can help in making informed decisions, optimizing processes, and personalizing customer experiences.

Enhance Digital Customer Experience

A seamless digital customer experience can set you apart from competitors. Invest in user-friendly website design, responsive customer service channels, and personalized customer journeys. Ensure your digital touchpoints are optimized for mobile users, as mobile commerce continues to grow.

Train Your Team

Digital readiness is not just about technology; it’s also about people. Provide your team with training and resources to adapt to new digital tools and practices. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and innovation within your organization.

Stay Informed and Adaptable

The digital world is ever-changing. Stay informed about emerging technologies and digital trends. Be prepared to adapt your strategies and embrace new opportunities as they arise.

Conclusion

In conclusion, getting digitally ready for 2024 is about more than just adopting new technologies. It’s about creating a culture that embraces digital transformation, values cybersecurity, and prioritizes customer experience. By focusing on these key areas, your business will not only survive but thrive in the digital era.

 

New Year’s Resolution:

Embrace Digital Transformation

New Year's Resolution: Embrace Digital Transformation

As the year draws to a close and the festive spirit takes over, it’s also a time for reflection and forward planning. For businesses, the dawn of a new year is the perfect opportunity to set new year’s resolutions. Well, here’s our new year’s resolution: embrace digital transformation!

Prioritise Customer Experience in the Digital Realm

In 2023, resolve to put your customers’ digital experience at the forefront. Whether it’s improving your website’s user interface or offering more personalised online services, enhancing the digital journey of your customers should be a top priority. Think of ways to make every digital interaction with your business smooth, enjoyable, and memorable.

Invest in Employee Digital Skills Training

Digital transformation is as much about people as it is about technology. This year, commit to investing in your employees’ digital education. Whether it’s training sessions on the latest software or workshops on digital best practices, equipping your team with the necessary skills is crucial for a successful digital transformation.

Embrace Cloud Computing

If your business hasn’t fully embraced cloud computing yet, make 2023 the year to do so. The cloud offers flexibility, scalability, and efficiency in operations. Migrating to cloud-based services can significantly reduce costs and enhance collaboration and productivity among your team.

Strengthen Your Cybersecurity Measures

With the increase in digital activities, cybersecurity threats are more prevalent than ever. This new year, take a vow to strengthen your digital defences. Regularly update your security protocols, conduct frequent audits, and ensure your team is aware of the best practices in cybersecurity.

Leverage Data Analytics for Better Decisions

Data is a goldmine for businesses, and in 2023, make it a resolution to leverage this asset effectively. Utilise data analytics tools to gain insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and business performance. Let data-driven decision-making be the cornerstone of your strategy.

Explore AI and Automation Technologies

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation technologies can revolutionise how you operate. From automated customer service chatbots to AI-driven market analysis, these technologies can increase efficiency and open new avenues for innovation.

Step 7: Piloting and Refining

Before fully implementing electronic signatures across your organization, consider running a pilot program in a specific department or project. This allows you to identify any potential challenges, gather feedback, and refine your processes. Learning from this pilot phase will enable you to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

Foster a Culture of Innovation and Adaptability

Finally, cultivate an organisational culture that embraces change and innovation. Encourage your team to be adaptable, to think creatively, and to be open to new digital approaches in their work.

Conclusion

As we toast to the new year, let these resolutions guide your business towards a more digital, efficient, and innovative future. Here’s to a transformative 2024, where embracing the digital tide becomes not just a resolution, but a reality for your business. Happy New Year!

 

The Evolution of Digital Transformation

From Early 2000s to Present

The Evolution of Digital Transformation

In the ever-evolving landscape of business and technology, digital transformation has been a key player. It’s a phenomenon that has redefined how organizations operate, deliver, and interact. Let’s embark on a journey through time, tracing the evolution of digital transformation, and examine how companies like Conclude have been instrumental in shaping this landscape.

The Early 2000s: The Digital Awakening

The journey begins in the early 2000s. This era marked the advent of high-speed internet, which laid the foundation for digital transformation. Businesses began to realize the power of going digital – from automating internal processes to creating online presences. However, this period was more about digital experimentation than transformation. The focus was on leveraging digital tools to enhance existing business models rather than reinventing them.

The 2010s: The Rise of Mobility and Cloud Computing

Fast forward to the 2010s, a pivotal decade in the digital transformation narrative. Two technological advancements stood out – mobility and cloud computing. The ubiquity of smartphones transformed consumer behaviour, urging businesses to adopt a mobile-first approach. Cloud computing, on the other hand, democratised access to powerful computing resources, enabling businesses of all sizes to scale and innovate rapidly. This era also witnessed the emergence of Big Data, pushing businesses to become data-driven.

The Mid-2010s: Customer-Centric Transformation

Midway through the 2010s, digital transformation started to become synonymous with customer-centricity. Therefore, the focus shifted from merely adopting digital tools to using them to enhance the customer experience. This period saw the rise of AI, machine learning, and personalization, allowing businesses to tailor their services and products to individual customer needs and preferences. Companies like Conclude recognized this shift early on, integrating customer-centric solutions in our digital offerings.

The Late 2010s: Integration of IoT and Automation

As the decade progressed, the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation technologies started gaining momentum. These technologies enabled businesses to collect data from a myriad of sources and automate routine tasks, respectively. The integration of IoT and automation ushered in an era of smart business operations, with real-time data driving decision-making and efficiencies never seen before.

The 2020s: The Pandemic and Accelerated Transformation

The onset of the 2020s was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, a catalyst that accelerated digital transformation at an unprecedented pace. Businesses that hadn’t embraced digital were forced to do so almost overnight – remote work became the norm, and digital channels became the primary (sometimes, the only) customer interaction point. This period underscored the importance of digital readiness and agility.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Digital Transformation

As we look to the future, digital transformation is set to become even more ingrained in the business fabric. Emerging technologies like 5G, edge computing, artificial intelligence and quantum computing are poised to open new frontiers. The focus will likely shift towards sustainability, with digital tools being used to drive eco-friendly business practices.

Conclusion

Conclude, with its 15+ years in the industry, has witnessed and contributed to this remarkable journey. From enabling businesses to adopt electronic forms and signatures to helping them navigate complex digital landscapes, Conclude’s story intertwines with the evolution of digital transformation.

This journey isn’t just about technology; it’s about how technology has continuously reshaped the way businesses operate and deliver value. It’s a testament to the transformative power of digital and a glimpse into a future where the possibilities are limitless.

 

The Human Side of Digital Transformation

The Human Side of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is often perceived as a technological shift, but its success fundamentally hinges on people. It’s a holistic change that impacts not just the tools and processes but also the culture and mindset within an organization. As businesses transition to digital platforms, understanding and addressing the human side of this transformation becomes crucial. Here’s an exploration of the human side of digital transformation and how businesses can navigate them effectively.

Understanding the Resistance to Change:

Change can be daunting, and digital transformation represents a significant shift from the known to the unknown. Employees might fear that new technology could render their skills obsolete or alter their job roles drastically. The key to mitigating this fear is through transparent communication. Explain the reasons behind the digital shift, how it benefits the company, and, more importantly, how it empowers employees.

Cultivating a Digital Culture:

A successful digital transformation requires a cultural shift towards embracing digital solutions. This involves cultivating a mindset that’s open to continuous learning and innovation. Encourage experimentation and the adoption of new technologies. Celebrate successes and learn from failures. When employees see digital adoption as a path to personal and professional growth, resistance dwindles.

Training and Upskilling:

One of the biggest challenges in digital transformation is bridging the skill gap. As new tools and technologies are introduced, ensuring that your workforce is adequately trained becomes vital. Provide comprehensive training programs and continuous learning opportunities. This not only helps in smooth technology adoption but also boosts employee morale and loyalty.

Fostering Collaboration and Inclusivity:

Digital tools often change how teams interact and collaborate. It’s essential to ensure that these tools enhance rather than hinder team dynamics. Encourage an environment of inclusivity where every team member, regardless of their technical proficiency, feels valued and capable of contributing. Collaboration tools should be intuitive and accessible, promoting a culture of open communication and teamwork.

Managing Workforce Dynamics:

Digital transformation can alter the traditional hierarchy and dynamics within a workforce. It can lead to the creation of new roles or even render some obsolete. Managing these shifts sensitively is crucial. This might involve redefining job roles, offering relocation options, or even parting ways with empathy and respect.

Prioritizing Employee Well-being:

The rapid pace of digital change can be overwhelming. It’s important to recognize the stress and anxiety it might cause among employees. Prioritize initiatives that support mental health and work-life balance. Ensure that the digital transformation does not lead to an ‘always-on’ work culture where employees feel pressured to be constantly connected.

Inviting Employee Participation and Feedback:

Make the digital transformation a collaborative effort. Invite ideas, suggestions, and feedback from employees at all levels. This not only provides valuable insights but also makes employees feel valued and part of the change.

Leading by Example:

Leadership plays a pivotal role in the success of digital transformation. Leaders should not only champion the digital cause but also demonstrate it through their actions. This involves being open to learning new digital skills and using digital tools effectively.

Conclusion

In conclusion, addressing the human side of digital transformation is not just about easing the transition; it’s about leveraging the full potential of your workforce. By understanding and supporting the people behind the technology, businesses can ensure a smoother, more successful digital journey. At Conclude, we recognize that technology is only as good as the people using it, and our approach to digital transformation always puts people first.

 

Integrating Traditional and Digital Workflows

Integrating Traditional and Digital Workflows

 

The business world is undergoing a digital metamorphosis. From small enterprises to colossal corporations, everyone is steering their operations towards the digital realm. While this transformation has unprecedented efficiency and scalability, the challenge lies in harmonising the age-old traditional processes with new-age digital workflows. This integration is critical to ensure that businesses don’t lose their essence while embracing technological advancements. Here’s a guide on integrating traditional and digital workflows.

Understand Your Existing Workflow:

Before jumping onto the digital bandwagon, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your current processes. This involves mapping out every step, identifying bottlenecks, and understanding the workflow’s strengths and weaknesses. Only when you have this blueprint can you determine how digital tools can augment or replace certain steps.

Prioritise a Gradual Transition:

While it’s tempting to replace all traditional processes with digital ones simultaneously, it’s seldom the wise approach. A staggered transition ensures that your team has adequate time to adapt to new tools and technologies, ensuring minimal disruptions. Start with one department or process, learn from that experience, and then move onto the next.

Choose the Right Digital Tools:

There’s a multitude of digital tools available in the market. The key is not to opt for the most advanced one, but the one that best aligns with your business needs. For instance, if your traditional workflow involves a lot of paperwork, starting with an electronic forms solution would be most beneficial.

Train Your Team:

The best digital tool is only as good as the team using it. Investing in proper training ensures that your team not only understands the new digital process but can also leverage its full potential. Continuous training sessions, workshops, and seminars can keep your team updated with the latest features and best practices.

Monitor, Analyze, and Iterate:

Once you’ve integrated a digital process, it’s essential to monitor its performance continually. Use analytical tools to track efficiency, identify areas of improvement, and make necessary adjustments. Digital workflows offer the advantage of real-time data and analytics, which can be a goldmine for process optimization.

Foster a Culture of Digital Acceptance:

Integrating digital workflows is not just about technology; it’s about people. Encouraging a culture that is open to change, excited about digital possibilities, and willing to adapt is crucial. Celebrate small digital wins, share success stories, and continuously emphasise the benefits of the digital transformation to keep the momentum going.

Maintain a Feedback Loop:

Your employees are the primary users of these digital processes. Maintaining an open channel for feedback can provide invaluable insights. They can pinpoint challenges, suggest improvements, or even identify areas where a combination of traditional and digital methods works best.

Ensure Data Protection and Security:

Transitioning to digital workflows often means dealing with sensitive data online. Prioritising data security is paramount. Ensure that the digital tools you use comply with data protection regulations and have robust security measures in place.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the integration of traditional and digital workflows is an ongoing journey, not a destination. The digital landscape is continually evolving, offering businesses new tools and technologies to streamline their processes further. By understanding the essence of your traditional workflow, choosing the right tools, and fostering a culture of digital acceptance, businesses can successfully bridge the gap, ensuring a future that’s both rooted in its legacy and excited for the digital dawn. At Conclude, we understand this intricate balance and are here to guide and support businesses every step of the way.

Get eSignature Ready

Digital Transformation Roadmap

Digital Transformation Roadmap

Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword; it’s a necessity for businesses looking to thrive in the modern landscape. Embracing digital transformation can enhance efficiency, competitiveness, and customer satisfaction. However, embarking on this journey requires careful planning and execution. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide to create a digital transformation roadmap for your business.

Define Your Goals and Objectives

Before you can start your digital transformation journey, you need a clear understanding of what you aim to achieve. Identify your specific goals, whether it’s improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer experiences, or expanding into new markets. Make sure these goals align with your overall business strategy.

 

Assess Your Current State

Take stock of your current technology infrastructure, processes, and digital capabilities. Identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas where improvement is needed. This assessment will serve as a baseline against which you can measure progress throughout the transformation.

 

Build a Cross-Functional Team

Digital transformation is not solely an IT initiative; it requires collaboration across various departments. Assemble a cross-functional team comprising representatives from IT, marketing, operations, and other relevant areas. This team will be responsible for driving the transformation strategy.

 

Identify Key Technologies

Research and identify the technologies that align with your transformation goals. This might include cloud computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and electronic signature solutions. Evaluate how these technologies can address your business challenges and opportunities.

 

Create a Budget and Timeline

Determine the financial resources required for your digital transformation initiative. Develop a budget that accounts for technology acquisition, training, and ongoing maintenance. Establish a timeline with realistic milestones to track progress.

 

Develop a Digital Strategy

Based on your goals and chosen technologies, create a comprehensive digital strategy. This should outline how you will integrate digital tools and processes into your operations. Consider how these changes will impact customer experiences and employee workflows.

 

Prioritize Projects

Not all digital transformation initiatives need to happen simultaneously. Prioritize projects based on their potential impact and feasibility. Start with smaller, manageable projects that can deliver quick wins, which can help build momentum for larger initiatives.

 

Invest in Employee Training

Digital transformation is a cultural shift as much as a technological one. Invest in employee training to ensure your team is equipped to use new tools and embrace digital processes. Provide ongoing education to keep up with evolving technologies.

 

Implement Change Management

Change can be met with resistance. Implement a change management plan to communicate the benefits of digital transformation to your employees and stakeholders. Address concerns and provide support to ease the transition.

 

Monitor and Measure Progress

Set up key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the success of your digital transformation initiatives. Regularly assess whether you’re meeting your goals and adjust your strategy as needed. Use data and analytics to inform decision-making.

 

Foster a Culture of Innovation

Encourage innovation within your organization. Create an environment where employees feel empowered to suggest and experiment with new ideas and technologies. Innovation can be a driving force behind ongoing digital transformation.

 

Stay Agile and Adaptable

The digital landscape is ever-changing. Be prepared to adapt your digital strategy and technologies as new opportunities and challenges arise. An agile approach will help your business stay competitive.

 

Celebrate Successes

Recognize and celebrate the achievements and milestones reached throughout your digital transformation journey. This not only motivates your team but also reinforces the importance of digital initiatives within your organization.

Conclusion

In conclusion, digital transformation is a strategic imperative for businesses in today’s digital age. By following this step-by-step guide and maintaining a commitment to ongoing innovation, your organization can navigate the complexities of digital transformation successfully. Remember that digital transformation is not a one-time project but a continuous process that can propel your business into a more agile, competitive, and customer-focused future.

 

AI and Automation for Electronic Signatures

AI and Automation for Electronic Signatures

 

In an era characterised by rapid technological advancement, the integration of AI and Automation for Electronic Signatures has become a game-changer. Among the many areas reaping the benefits of these innovations, the domain of electronic signatures stands out prominently. AI and automation are revolutionising document verification for electronic signatures, enhancing security, efficiency, and user experience.

The Role of Document Verification in Electronic Signatures

Before diving into the transformative potential of AI and automation, it’s essential to understand the significance of document verification within the realm of electronic signatures. Document verification serves as a critical component of the electronic signature process, ensuring the legitimacy and authenticity of signed documents.

Traditionally, manual methods involving human verification were employed to verify signatures and documents. However, these methods are time-consuming, prone to errors, and may not be as reliable as modern automated solutions.

The Power of AI in Document Verification

Artificial intelligence, powered by machine learning algorithms, has taken document verification to new heights. Here’s how AI contributes to the process:

Signature Recognition: AI algorithms can analyse and recognize signatures with a high degree of accuracy. They can identify inconsistencies, such as variations in signature style, helping detect potential fraud or tampering.

Biometric Authentication: AI can leverage biometric data, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, to enhance the security of electronic signatures. This adds an extra layer of identity verification, making it difficult for unauthorised individuals to sign documents.

Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP capabilities in AI can assist in understanding the content of documents, extracting key information, and ensuring that all necessary fields are completed before a document can be signed.

Risk Assessment: AI can assess the risk associated with a particular signature or transaction. It can flag suspicious activities or anomalies in real-time, allowing for immediate intervention when necessary.

Automation Streamlines the Verification Process

In tandem with AI, automation plays a pivotal role in making the document verification process smoother and more efficient:

Faster Verification: Automated systems can process documents and signatures much faster than manual methods. This results in quicker turnaround times, benefiting businesses and their clients.

Consistency and Standardization: Automation ensures that verification processes are consistent and follow predefined standards. This minimises errors that can occur due to human oversight.

Scalability: Automation allows electronic signature platforms to handle a high volume of documents and signatures simultaneously, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Reduced Costs: By eliminating the need for manual verification, businesses can reduce labour costs and allocate resources more efficiently.

Enhancing User Experience

The integration of AI and automation in document verification isn’t solely about security and efficiency. It also significantly improves the user experience. Users no longer have to jump through hoops to ensure that their documents are signed correctly and securely. AI-powered systems guide users through the process, flagging any issues and providing real-time feedback.

The Future of Document Verification for Electronic Signatures

As AI and automation continue to evolve, the future of document verification in electronic signatures looks promising. Advancements in AI will likely lead to even more sophisticated signature recognition algorithms and enhanced biometric authentication methods. Additionally, the integration of blockchain technology may further enhance the security and traceability of electronic signatures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, AI and automation have transformed document verification for electronic signatures, making the process faster, more secure, and user-friendly. As businesses increasingly embrace digital transformation, the adoption of AI-powered verification solutions will become a standard practice, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of electronically signed documents. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual user, the benefits of this technological evolution are clear: smoother transactions, reduced risk, and a more convenient signing experience.

Understanding SDKs

Understanding SDKs

Do you find it difficult understanding SDKs? In the fast-paced world of technology, acronyms and jargon can be overwhelming. One such term that frequently crops up in discussions about software development is “SDK.” But what exactly is an SDK, and what role does it play in modern technologies? In this blog post, we will demystify SDKs, explaining what they are, their common uses, and their pivotal role in the world of technology.

What is an SDK?

SDK stands for Software Development Kit. At its core, an SDK is a set of tools, libraries, documentation, and sample code that developers use to create software applications for a specific platform, framework, or hardware device. Think of it as a toolbox filled with specialized tools that make a developer’s job more efficient and effective.

Common Uses of SDKs

Platform Development: SDKs are often associated with platform-specific development. For example, Android and iOS SDKs provide developers with the necessary tools to build apps for these mobile operating systems. These SDKs include APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow developers to interact with various device features, such as cameras, sensors, and user interfaces.

API Integration: Many SDKs are designed to simplify the integration of third-party services or APIs into an application. These SDKs often come with pre-written code snippets and functions that help developers interact with services like payment gateways, social media platforms, or cloud storage providers.

Game Development: In the gaming industry, game engines often offer SDKs to facilitate game development. These SDKs include tools for creating graphics, physics simulations, audio effects, and more. Unity and Unreal Engine, for example, provide comprehensive SDKs for game developers.

Hardware Development: Hardware manufacturers provide SDKs to enable developers to create software that interacts with their devices. This can range from IoT (Internet of Things) devices to graphics cards, and signature pads. Enabling developers to tap into the hardware’s capabilities.

Web Development: Web developers can also benefit from SDKs when building web applications. JavaScript frameworks and libraries like React, Angular, and Vue.js can be considered SDKs in a broader sense, as they provide pre-built components and tools to streamline web development.

The Role of SDKs in Technology

Faster Development: SDKs accelerate the development process by providing reusable code and components. Developers don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time they want to add a specific feature or functionality.

Interoperability: SDKs bridge the gap between different software components, making it easier for them to work together. For example, a payment SDK can seamlessly integrate with an e-commerce app, ensuring secure and efficient transactions.

Consistency: SDKs often enforce coding standards and best practices, leading to more consistent and reliable software. This consistency is essential in maintaining software quality, especially in large-scale projects.

Ecosystem Growth: SDKs contribute to the growth of technology ecosystems. They encourage third-party developers to create applications, services, and plugins that enhance the functionality of a platform or device.

Innovation: By providing access to specialized tools and resources, SDKs foster innovation. Developers can experiment with new ideas and push the boundaries of what’s possible within a given technology stack.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SDKs are indispensable tools in the world of technology. They empower developers to create applications more efficiently, integrate services seamlessly, and tap into the full potential of platforms and devices. Whether you’re a mobile app developer, a web developer, or someone working on IoT devices, understanding and using SDKs is a fundamental part of modern software development. Embracing SDKs can lead to faster development cycles, increased interoperability, and a thriving ecosystem of innovative software solutions. So, the next time you encounter the term “SDK,” you’ll know it’s not just another acronym but a powerful toolkit that shapes the digital landscape we live in today.

Get Started With Digital Transformation and Electronic Signatures

Get Started With Digital Transformation and Electronic Signatures

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, embracing digital transformation is no longer an option; it’s a necessity for staying competitive and efficient. One pivotal aspect of this transformation is the adoption of electronic signatures. By eliminating the need for physical paperwork and enabling secure online transactions, electronic signatures can revolutionize the way you do business. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to get started with digital transformation using electronic signatures, empowering your business to thrive in the digital age.

Step 1: Recognizing the Need for Transformation

Before diving into the world of electronic signatures, it’s crucial to assess your organization’s current processes and pain points. Are you drowning in a sea of paperwork? Is the approval process slowing down deals? Are you struggling with errors due to manual data entry? Recognizing these pain points will help you define the areas where digital transformation can make the most significant impact.

Step 2: Setting Clear Objectives

Every successful digital transformation journey begins with clear objectives. Define what you want to achieve with electronic signatures. Is it faster contract approvals, reduced operational costs, or enhanced customer experience? Setting specific and measurable goals will provide direction and help you measure the success of your transformation efforts.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Solution

Selecting the right electronic signature solution is a pivotal decision. Conclude, our cutting-edge digital transformation and electronic signature platform, offers seamless integration, top-notch security features, and user-friendly interfaces. Look for features like multi-platform compatibility, advanced encryption, and audit trails to ensure the highest level of security and compliance.

Step 4: Gaining Buy-in from Stakeholders

For a smooth transition, it’s essential to get buy-in from all stakeholders, from employees to executives. Communicate the benefits of digital transformation and how electronic signatures will simplify processes and improve efficiency. Address any concerns they might have about security, legality, or ease of use.

Step 5: Training and Onboarding

Ensuring that your team is well-versed in using the electronic signature platform is vital. Offer comprehensive training sessions to educate your staff about the new system’s functionalities and advantages. Conclude provides user-friendly interfaces, but training sessions can further boost your team’s confidence in utilizing the technology effectively.

Step 6: Integrating with Existing Systems

A successful digital transformation doesn’t happen in isolation. Your chosen electronic signature solution should seamlessly integrate with your existing software and systems. Conclude’s versatile integration capabilities allow for a smooth merger with your current tools, ensuring a hassle-free transition.

Step 7: Piloting and Refining

Before fully implementing electronic signatures across your organization, consider running a pilot program in a specific department or project. This allows you to identify any potential challenges, gather feedback, and refine your processes. Learning from this pilot phase will enable you to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

Step 8: Ensuring Compliance and Security

Electronic signatures are legally recognized in many jurisdictions, but it’s crucial to understand the regulatory landscape in your industry and region. Conclude’s platform adheres to the highest industry standards for security and compliance, ensuring your documents are legally binding and tamper-proof.

Step 9: Scaling Up

With successful piloting and refinements, it’s time to scale up and extend the benefits of electronic signatures across your entire organization. Monitor key performance indicators closely and celebrate milestones achieved through this transformation journey.

Step 10: Continuous Improvement

Digital transformation is an ongoing process. Regularly assess how electronic signatures are impacting your business. Are you meeting your initial objectives? Are there new pain points that have emerged? Continuously seek opportunities to optimize and enhance your processes further.

Conclusion

In conclusion, embarking on a digital transformation journey with electronic signatures can lead to a more streamlined, efficient, and competitive business model. With Conclude’s advanced electronic signature solutions and a strategic approach, you can eliminate paperwork, reduce operational bottlenecks, and elevate your business into the digital era. Remember, the key to success lies in recognizing the need, setting clear objectives, choosing the right tools, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Your path to a digitally transformed future starts here with Conclude.

 

Empowering Women Through Diversity and Inclusion
Empowering Women Through Diversity and Inclusion

The technology industry has long been marked by a glaring gender gap. With women significantly underrepresented in various roles and leadership positions. However, in recent years, the push for diversity and inclusion has gained momentum, sparking conversations and initiatives aimed at bridging this gap. As we celebrate Women’s Month, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of closing the gender gap. Empowering women through diversity and inclusion in tech to foster a more equitable and innovative industry.

 

 

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

Diverse Perspectives Drive Innovation: A diverse workforce brings a variety of perspectives and experiences to the table. This leads to more creative problem-solving and innovative ideas. In the rapidly evolving tech landscape, these perspectives are essential for driving industry advancements.

Enhanced Decision-Making: Research consistently shows that diverse teams make better decisions. When multiple viewpoints are considered, it reduces the risk of groupthink and leads to well-rounded, thoughtful outcomes.

Reflecting User Diversity: Technology products and services are designed for a global audience with diverse needs. Having a diverse workforce ensures that these products cater to a broader range of users and are more inclusive by design.

Initiatives to Bridge the Gap

Education and Early Exposure: Introducing young girls to STEM fields at an early age can spark their interest and encourage them to pursue tech careers. Initiatives like coding workshops, STEM camps, and mentorship programs play a vital role in this regard.

Equal Hiring Practices: Companies can implement blind hiring processes. Which will ensure that gender and other biases do not influence recruitment decisions. Providing equal opportunities for men and women at all stages of hiring is essential.

Mentorship and Sponsorship: Establishing mentorship programs and sponsorship opportunities can help women navigate their careers. And allows them to access valuable guidance from experienced professionals.

Flexible Work Policies: Offering flexible work arrangements and parental leave policies can support women in managing their work and family responsibilities effectively.

Fostering an Inclusive Tech Culture

Encouraging Open Dialogue: Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing gender-related issues openly can help raise awareness and address concerns effectively.

Diversity Training: Providing diversity and inclusion training for all employees can help raise awareness about biases and foster a more inclusive workplace culture.

Equal Pay Practices: Ensuring equal pay for equal work is a significant step toward creating a fair and inclusive work environment for women.

Conclusion

Closing the gender gap in the tech industry requires a concerted effort. From individuals, companies, and the industry as a whole. As we celebrate Women’s Month, let’s reaffirm our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. By recognizing the importance of diverse perspectives, addressing biases, and implementing initiatives that empower women, we can create an industry that thrives on innovation, creativity, and equality. It’s time to bridge the gender gap and build a more inclusive future for all in the tech world.

Get in touch

Women Entrepreneurs in Tech Startups

Women Entrepreneurs in Tech Startups

In recent years, the tech startup landscape has witnessed a gradual but remarkable increase in the participation of women entrepreneurs. Breaking through the barriers of a historically male-dominated industry, women are stepping up to challenge norms, shatter stereotypes, and carve a niche for themselves. In this blog post, we celebrate the remarkable journey of women entrepreneurs in tech startups. Despite facing unique challenges, their resilience, innovation, and determination have led to transformative triumphs.

The Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

Gender Bias: Women entrepreneurs often encounter subtle gender biases, affecting access to funding, networking opportunities, and mentorship. Pitching ideas to predominantly male venture capitalists or securing investment can be particularly challenging.

Lack of Representation: The scarcity of female role models in the tech startup ecosystem can be disheartening for aspiring women entrepreneurs. A lack of representation can make it harder for women to visualize themselves succeeding in the industry.

Work-Life Balance: Balancing the demands of entrepreneurship with family responsibilities can be overwhelming for some women. Societal expectations and the absence of robust support systems can make managing both personal and professional life daunting.

Access to Capital: Securing adequate funding is often a critical hurdle for startups led by women. Studies have shown that women-founded startups receive significantly less venture capital compared to their male counterparts.

Triumphs and Success Stories

Despite the challenges, numerous women have broken through the barriers and achieved remarkable success. Let’s explore some inspiring triumphs:

Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code): Reshma Saujani founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization aimed at closing the gender gap in technology by inspiring and educating young girls. Her initiative has reached thousands of girls, empowering them with coding skills and preparing them for careers in tech.

Whitney Wolfe Herd (Bumble): As the CEO of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd revolutionized the dating app industry by creating a platform where women initiate conversations. Bumble has become a global sensation and a symbol of empowerment for women.

Jessica O. Matthews (Uncharted Power): Jessica O. Matthews founded Uncharted Power, a company that harnesses energy from human movement to power cities sustainably. Her innovative solutions are transforming the future of renewable energy.

Sarah Leary (Nextdoor): As a co-founder of Nextdoor, Sarah Leary spearheaded the creation of a neighbourhood-based social networking platform. Nextdoor connects communities, fosters communication, and strengthens local ties.

Empowering the Next Generation

To support more women in tech and foster an inclusive tech startup ecosystem, various initiatives and organizations have emerged. These initiatives aim to provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and financial support to women-led startups. Additionally, incubators and accelerators specifically focused on women entrepreneurs are empowering them to overcome hurdles and thrive in the competitive startup landscape.

Conclusion

The journey of women entrepreneurs in the tech startup world is a tale of perseverance, ingenuity, and resilience. Despite facing unique challenges and systemic biases, women have emerged as leaders, change-makers, and pioneers in the tech industry. Through their trailblazing efforts, they are inspiring future generations of women to dream big and pursue entrepreneurial ambitions fearlessly.

As we celebrate Women’s Month, let us acknowledge the triumphs of women and recognize the importance of fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment for all aspiring innovators. By embracing diversity and breaking down barriers, we can build a brighter future where women continue to shape and transform the technology landscape for the better.

Digital Transformation and Electronic Signatures

How They Can Help Your Business Grow

Digital Transformation and Electronic Signatures

In today’s digital age, businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition need to embrace digital transformation. This means using digital technologies to improve efficiency, productivity, and customer experience.

One key area of digital transformation is the adoption of electronic signatures. Electronic signatures are a secure and simple way to sign documents electronically. They can help businesses save time and money, improve compliance, and increase customer satisfaction.

How Digital Transformation Can Help Your Business Grow

There are many ways that digital transformation can help your business grow. Here are just a few:

Improved efficiency: Digital technologies can help businesses automate tasks, streamline workflows, and access information more quickly. This can free up employees to focus on more strategic work, which can lead to improved efficiency and productivity.

Increased customer satisfaction: Digital technologies can help businesses provide a better customer experience. For example, businesses can use digital channels to provide 24/7 customer support, track customer interactions, and personalize customer communications.

Enhanced security: Digital technologies can help businesses improve their security posture. For example, businesses can use encryption to protect sensitive data, implement access controls to prevent unauthorized access, and use disaster recovery solutions to protect against data loss.

Reduced costs: Digital technologies can help businesses reduce their costs. For example, businesses can use cloud computing to save on IT infrastructure costs, use e-commerce to reduce the cost of sales, and use analytics to identify areas where costs can be cut.

How Electronic Signatures Can Help Your Business Grow

Electronic signatures can help businesses grow in a number of ways. Here are just a few:

Reduced paperwork: Electronic signatures can help businesses reduce the amount of paperwork they need to process. This can save time and money, and it can also help to improve the environment.

Increased speed: Electronic signatures can help businesses speed up the document signing process. This can help to improve customer satisfaction, and it can also help businesses to close deals faster.

Enhanced security: Most electronic signatures use advanced encryption methods to protect the documents and signatures. Which can help businesses to protect them from fraud and tampering.

Improved compliance: Electronic signatures can help businesses to comply with regulations. For example, businesses that need to comply with the ECT Act can use electronic signatures to do so.

Conclusion

Digital transformation and electronic signatures are two powerful tools that can help businesses grow. By embracing these technologies, businesses can improve efficiency, productivity, customer satisfaction, security, and compliance.

If you’re looking for ways to help your business grow, then reaching out to Conclude is the right choice to help you achieve it.

 

Electronic Signatures in Smart Devices

Electronic Signatures in Smart Devices

In today’s digital landscape, smart devices have become an integral part of our daily lives. From smartphones and tablets to smartwatches and IoT devices, these gadgets offer a multitude of functionalities. In the realm of electronic signatures, smart devices have revolutionized the signing process, providing convenience, integration, and versatility. In this blog post, we will explore how smart devices are used for electronic signatures, their benefits, diverse use cases, and how they bring together various signature methods into a unified and accessible platform.

Smart Devices and Electronic Signatures

Smart devices serve as powerful tools for electronic signatures, enabling users to sign documents conveniently and securely. These devices leverage their built-in features and connectivity to facilitate the signing process, eliminating the need for additional hardware or specialized tools. With the right applications and software, smart devices become a unified platform that integrates different signature methods.

Benefits of Using Smart Devices for Electronic Signatures

Convenience and Accessibility: Smart devices are portable, readily available, and commonly used in everyday activities. Leveraging these devices for electronic signatures allows users to sign documents anytime, anywhere, enhancing convenience and accessibility.

Integration of Signature Methods: Smart devices provide a platform where various signature methods, such as click-to-sign, facial recognition signatures, video signatures, electronic signature pads, and fingerprint signatures, can be utilized. This integration enables users to choose the most suitable method for each signing scenario.

Streamlined Workflows: By using smart devices, the entire signing process can be streamlined. Users can receive, review, and sign documents directly on their devices, eliminating the need for printing, scanning, or transferring files manually.

Enhanced Security: Smart devices offer robust security measures, including encryption, biometric authentication (such as fingerprint or facial recognition), and secure communication protocols. These features protect the integrity and confidentiality of the signed documents, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or tampering.

Use Cases for Smart Device Electronic Signatures

Remote Collaboration: Smart devices facilitate remote collaboration by allowing users to sign and exchange documents in real-time. This is particularly beneficial for distributed teams, international partnerships, or remote workers.

Sales and Customer Service: In sales and customer service scenarios, smart devices enable professionals to close deals, collect signatures, and process transactions directly on their devices. This expedites the sales cycle and enhances customer satisfaction.

Field Operations: Industries such as construction, logistics, and healthcare can benefit from smart device electronic signatures in their field operations. Workers can use their devices to sign off on deliveries, update work orders, or confirm the completion of tasks.

Personal and Consumer Use: Smart devices also cater to personal and consumer use cases. Individuals can electronically sign contracts, agreements, or consent forms, eliminating the need for physical paperwork and simplifying administrative processes.

The Synergy of Signature Methods

Smart devices serve as a central hub that brings together different signature methods, allowing users to choose the most appropriate option for each scenario. For instance, a user can employ facial recognition signatures for added security during high-value financial transactions, while utilizing a fingerprint signature for quick and convenient document signing on the go. The integration of various methods within smart devices ensures versatility and adaptability to diverse signing requirements.

Conclusion

Smart devices have transformed the landscape of electronic signatures, providing convenience, integration, and versatility. These devices offer a unified platform that encompasses multiple signature methods, enabling users to sign documents anytime, anywhere. The benefits of using smart devices for electronic signatures include enhanced convenience, streamlined workflows, increased security, and accessibility. From remote collaborations to field operations and personal use, smart devices have become indispensable tools for businesses and individuals alike. As the digital landscape evolves, smart devices will continue to play a crucial

Fingerprint Electronic Signatures

Fingerprint Electronic Signatures

In the era of digital transformation, businesses are increasingly adopting electronic signature solutions to streamline their document signing processes. Fingerprint electronic signatures, utilizing the unique biometric features of an individual’s fingerprint, have emerged as a highly secure and convenient method for electronic signatures. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of fingerprint signatures. Looking at how they work, their biometric security features, and the notable benefits they offer.

Understanding Fingerprint Signatures

Fingerprint signatures leverage the distinct ridges, patterns, and minutiae of an individual’s fingerprint to create a secure and reliable electronic signature. Each person’s fingerprint is unique, making it an ideal biometric identifier for authentication purposes. By capturing and analyzing the fingerprint data, fingerprint signatures provide a highly accurate and tamper-resistant method for verifying the identity of the signer.

How Fingerprint Signatures Work

The process of capturing and utilizing fingerprint signatures typically involves the following steps:

Enrollment: During the enrollment process, the signer’s fingerprint is scanned using a biometric device. Such as a fingerprint scanner or sensor. The scanner captures a high-resolution image of the fingerprint, which is then converted into a unique digital template.

Template Creation: The captured fingerprint image is analyzed to identify specific characteristics, such as ridge endings, bifurcations, and other minutiae points. These features are transformed into a mathematical representation, known as a template, which serves as a digital representation of the fingerprint.

Authentication: When the signer wishes to apply their fingerprint signature, their fingerprint is scanned again and compared with the stored template. Then, advanced matching algorithms assess the degree of similarity between the live fingerprint and the stored template, determining if it’s a match or not.

Biometric Security Features

Fingerprint signatures offer several robust security features:

Unique Identification: Every person’s fingerprint is unique, making it virtually impossible for someone to replicate another individual’s fingerprint signature accurately. Therefore, the inherent uniqueness provides a high level of security and helps prevent fraudulent attempts.

Non-repudiation: Fingerprint signatures provide strong non-repudiation, meaning the signer cannot deny their involvement in signing a document. Since fingerprints are biologically tied to the individual, it becomes an irrefutable proof of their intent and agreement.

Anti-Spoofing Measures: Advanced fingerprint scanning technologies incorporate anti-spoofing measures to protect against fake fingerprints or artificial replications. For instance, these measures employ liveness detection algorithms, which analyze the characteristics of a live finger to distinguish it from a fake or copied fingerprint.

Benefits of Fingerprint Signatures

Enhanced Security: Fingerprint signatures offer a heightened level of security compared to traditional electronic signature methods. The unique nature of fingerprints makes it extremely difficult for unauthorized individuals to forge or impersonate signatures.

Convenience and Speed: Fingerprint signatures provide a quick and effortless signing experience. Signers simply need to place their finger on the fingerprint scanner for authentication, eliminating the need for manual signature reproduction or additional hardware.

Seamless Integration: Fingerprint signatures can be seamlessly integrated into existing electronic signature platforms or authentication systems. This allows businesses to leverage their existing infrastructure while incorporating the added security of biometric authentication.

Compliance and Auditability: Fingerprint signatures leave a reliable audit trail, recording each signing event along with the associated fingerprint data. This comprehensive documentation ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and facilitates effective auditing processes.

Accessibility and Mobility: Fingerprint signatures offer a high level of accessibility as they can be implemented on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and dedicated fingerprint scanners. This mobility allows signers to conveniently and securely sign documents from any location.

Conclusion

Fingerprint signatures provide a secure, reliable, and efficient method for electronic signatures. By utilizing the unique biometric features of an individual’s fingerprint, businesses can enhance document security, streamline processes, and ensure non-repudiation. The implementation of fingerprint signatures offers a range of benefits, including heightened security, convenience, compliance, and accessibility. As organizations strive for increased efficiency and data protection, fingerprint signatures present an invaluable solution for their electronic signature needs.

Electronic Signature Pads

Electronic Signature Pads

In today’s fast-paced digital era, businesses are embracing electronic signatures as a convenient and efficient alternative to traditional paper-based signing processes. Electronic signature pads, like those offered by Wacom have emerged as a popular solution. Enabling users to digitally capture and store signatures. In this blog post, we will explore the functionality, security features, and benefits of electronic signature pads, and how they contribute to enhancing business processes.

What are Electronic Signature Pads?

Electronic signature pads, are hardware devices designed to capture and store handwritten signatures electronically. These pads typically consist of a touch-sensitive screen, a pen-like stylus, and advanced sensor technology that translates physical signatures into digital form. The captured signature is then securely stored as an image or encrypted data and associated with the corresponding electronic document.

How Do Electronic Signature Pads Work?

The working mechanism of such pads is relatively straightforward:

Signature Capture: When a signer uses the stylus to sign on the touch-sensitive screen of the pad, the device captures the unique characteristics of their signature, including pressure, speed, and stroke.

Digital Conversion: The electronic signature pad converts the physical signature into a digital format, often using high-resolution scanning technology or electromagnetic sensors. This process ensures accurate representation and reproduction of the signer’s signature.

Secure Storage: The captured signature is securely stored within the pad’s internal memory or transmitted to a connected device such as a computer or tablet. Encryption measures are implemented to protect the integrity, authenticity, and confidentiality of the signature data.

Biometric Security Measures

Electronic signature pads offer enhanced security through biometric measures. Here are some notable security features:

Pressure Sensitivity: These pads are equipped with pressure-sensitive technology that detects the applied pressure during the signing process. This ensures that the signature captures unique traits, making it difficult to replicate or forge.

Dynamic Signature Analysis: Advanced signature pad systems employ dynamic signature analysis algorithms. Meaning that they evaluate various parameters of the signer’s signature, such as speed, acceleration, and stroke order. This analysis helps in distinguishing between genuine signatures and fraudulent attempts.

Encryption and Authentication: To ensure the security of the captured signature, they often employ encryption techniques to safeguard the data during transmission and storage. Additionally, authentication protocols and user verification processes may be implemented to prevent unauthorised access.

Benefits of Electronic Signature Pads

Enhanced Efficiency: Eliminating the need for printing, scanning, and physical storage of signed documents. Streamlines processes, reduces administrative overhead, and accelerates document turnaround times.

Accuracy and Legibility: There is no risk of illegible or incomplete signatures. The digital representation ensures clarity and legibility, minimising errors and misinterpretations.

Cost Savings: By eliminating paper, printing, and courier costs associated with physical documents, businesses can significantly reduce expenses related to document handling and storage.

Audit Trail and Compliance: They often generate an audit trail. Recording important metadata, including the date, time, and location of each signature. This audit trail ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, ensuring document integrity.

Remote Collaboration: They enable remote signing, allowing signers to securely and conveniently sign documents from anywhere, anytime. This feature is particularly valuable for organisations with distributed teams or remote workforces.

Conclusion

Electronic signature pads revolutionise the signing process by offering a secure and efficient way to capture and store signatures digitally. With their advanced biometric security measures and benefits like increased efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings, these devices have become indispensable tools for businesses across industries. By adopting electronic signature pads, organisations can enhance their document management processes, improve security, and embrace the advantages of a paperless workflow.

Facial Recognition Signatures

Facial Recognition Signatures

Among the various electronic signature methods available, facial recognition signatures have gained significant traction due to their advanced security features and user-friendly experience. In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses are constantly seeking secure and efficient ways to streamline their operations. Electronic signatures have emerged as a game-changer, eliminating the need for physical signatures and cumbersome paperwork. In this blog post, we will cover the world of facial recognition signatures.

What are Facial Recognition Signatures?

Facial recognition signatures leverage cutting-edge facial recognition technology to authenticate the identity of the signer. This method captures unique facial features and analyses them to verify the individual’s identity. The process involves capturing a live image or a video of the signer’s face. Extracting key facial characteristics, and matching them against stored data or known patterns. Once the verification process is complete, the signer’s facial biometrics are associated with the electronic signature, ensuring a secure and reliable validation.

Applications and Use Cases

Facial recognition electronic signatures can find applications and uses across various industries and sectors, including:

Financial Institutions: Banks and financial institutions rely on signatures to authenticate high-value transactions, open accounts, and validate customer identities remotely.

Government and Public Services: Government agencies implement signatures to facilitate secure online interactions, such as tax filings, license applications, and permit approvals.

Healthcare and Telemedicine: The healthcare industry benefits from signatures by securely signing medical consent forms, prescriptions, and other confidential documents, ensuring patient privacy.

Security and Advantages

Robust Identity Verification: Facial recognition signatures offer a high level of security. By comparing the unique facial features of the signer against stored biometric data. This biometric authentication reduces the risk of identity fraud and provides reliable proof of the signer’s intent.

Anti-Spoofing Measures: Advanced facial recognition systems employ anti-spoofing techniques to prevent fraudulent attempts using photos, videos, or masks. Liveness detection algorithms analyse eye movement, facial expressions, and other dynamic features to ensure the signer’s presence during the authentication process.

Convenient and User-Friendly: These signatures eliminate the need for additional hardware or specialised devices. Making it a convenient option for both businesses and signers. The process is intuitive, requiring only a camera-enabled device for capturing the signer’s facial data.

Audit Trail and Compliance: These solutions often provide an audit trail that records detailed information about the signing process, including the time, location, and authentication status. This comprehensive record ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Remote Accessibility: Signers can authenticate their identity and sign documents remotely, saving time and resources. This accessibility is particularly beneficial for remote workers, international collaborations, and individuals with mobility constraints.

Conclusion

Facial recognition signatures offer businesses a secure, convenient, and efficient method of validating document authenticity and verifying the identity of signers. By leveraging advanced facial recognition technology, this method enhances security measures, minimises the risk of fraud, and provides a seamless user experience. Whether it’s streamlining financial transactions, signing agreements, or facilitating remote interactions, facial recognition signatures have become a vital tool in the digital transformation journey of organisations across various industries. Embracing this innovative technology empowers businesses to enhance security, improve efficiency, and meet the demands of the modern digital landscape.

Click-to-Sign eSignatures
Click-to-Sign eSignatures

Electronic signatures have revolutionised the way businesses operate by offering a more efficient and secure alternative to traditional pen-and-paper signatures. One such method is the “Click-to-Sign” eSignature, a popular option for many businesses.

 

Get Your eSignature Solution Now

What is Click-to-Sign?

So, what exactly is Click-to-Sign? Simply put, it is an electronic signature method that allows a person to sign a document by using tick boxes, e-squiggles, scanned images, and/or typed names. This method is widely used for simple agreements, contracts, and forms that require a signature.

Click-to-Sign electronic signatures are not the most secure method. Because these types of signatures aren’t protected through cryptography, and the simplicity of signature, they can be easily duplicated or forged. Moreover, they are difficult to use as legally binding, as a signer could easily argue “that’s not my signature”.

Uses

This signature method can be used for a wide range of documents, including employment contracts, sales agreements, and internal company documents. The Click-to-Sign method is particularly useful for remote workers or teams that need to sign documents from different locations. It saves time and money compared to traditional signature methods, where physical presence is required.

Due to the lack of security on these signatures, they are best used to provide ease-of-use for businesses and clients. Mostly for simple non-legally binding documents.

Benefits

One of the key benefits of Click-to-Sign is its accessibility. Employees, customers, and even clients can all access and sign a document from anywhere. All they need is a smart device and access to the document. Once signed it’s immediately returned to the sender and completed.

Moreover, Click-to-Sign can offer businesses a range of other benefits, including increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved customer experience. The electronic signature method speeds up the signing process and eliminates the need for paper-based signatures. This, in turn, saves time and money for businesses, allowing them to allocate resources elsewhere.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Click-to-Sign eSignatures are a secure and efficient electronic signature method that can be used for a wide range of documents. Its benefits make it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes looking to streamline their operations and provide a better customer experience. If you haven’t already, it’s time to ditch the pen-and-paper signature and embrace electronic signatures.

Get in touch

Electronic Signature Methods

Electronic Signature Methods

In today’s digital age, electronic signatures have become a popular method for businesses to sign and approve documents without the need for “wet” signatures. This offers a convenient and efficient way to streamline processes, saving time and money. In this week’s blog post, we will explore various types of electronic signature methods available in the market.

Click-to-Sign

Click-to-Sign is the most widely used electronic signature method. It is a straightforward process that requires the signer to click a button to agree to the terms of the document, or simply upload a saved image of your signature. This method is easy to use, but it may not be the most secure electronic signature method.

Facial Recognition Signature

A facial recognition signature, or picture signature is a newer technology that uses facial recognition software and a camera to verify the identity and intent of the signer. It is a more secure and convenient method that does not require any additional hardware or software. Just a working camera.

Video Signature

Video signatures are similar to picture signatures. They involve recording a video of the signer agreeing to the document’s terms. Both these methods are more secure than the standard Click-to-Sign method, because they add additional proof of identity.

Electronic Signature Pads

Electronic signature pads are dedicated devices that capture the signer’s signature on a digital pad. Like those offered by Wacom. This method is more inline with traditional signatures, but offers greater security, and ease of access.

Fingerprint Signatures

Fingerprint signatures are a type of electronic signature that uses biometric data to verify the signer’s identity. This method is more secure than most other methods because it uses biometric data to confirm the identity of the signer.

Use of Smart Devices

The use of smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is becoming increasingly popular for electronic signatures. This method offers convenience because it allows the signer to sign documents from anywhere, at any time. By just using their fingers or a stylus. Smart devices can also be used for any of the other methods mentioned above, aside from the dedicated signature pads.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, electronic signature methods are a fast and convenient way for businesses to streamline processes and save time and money. Each method has its own pros and cons, but all of them offer better security and convenience than their “wet” counterpart. When choosing an electronic signature method, businesses should consider these pros and cons, as well as their compatibility with existing systems. Conclude can help businesses choose the right electronic signature method and streamline their processes.

eSignatures for SMEs
eSignatures for SMEs

Digital transformation is changing the way businesses operate, with new technologies and processes enabling increased efficiency, agility, and innovation. This week’s blog will look at some of the key benefits that can be realised by adopting eSignatures for SMEs. One of the key drivers of digital transformation is the adoption of electronic signatures. Electronic signatures allow businesses to streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve customer experience. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of electronic signatures and how they can help businesses achieve digital transformation.

 

Get Your eSignature Solution Now

Increased Efficiency

Electronic signatures offer a significant advantage over traditional paper-based signatures in terms of efficiency. With electronic signatures, documents can be signed and processed quickly, with no need for printing, mailing, or physical storage. This can save businesses a significant amount of time and money, as well as reduce the risk of errors and delays.

Moreover, electronic signatures can be integrated with other digital systems and processes, such as document management and workflow automation. This enables businesses to create seamless, end-to-end processes that are faster and more efficient than traditional manual processes. For example, an electronic signature can trigger an automated workflow, such as a document review or approval process, eliminating the need for manual assistance.

Reduced Costs

The adoption of electronic signatures can also lead to significant cost savings for businesses. Electronic signatures eliminate the need for paper, printing, and postage, which can save businesses money on supplies and shipping costs. Additionally, electronic signatures can reduce the need for manual work. Such as data entry or document filing, which can save businesses time and money on labour costs.

Secondly, electronic signatures can enable businesses to accelerate their revenue cycles, by reducing the time it takes to finalise contracts and other important documents. By speeding up these processes, businesses can reduce the amount of time that they have to wait for payments. Which can improve their cash flow and reduce the need for financing.

Improved Customer Experience

Electronic signatures can improve the customer experience, by providing a faster, more convenient, and more secure way for customers to sign documents. With electronic signatures, customers can sign documents from anywhere, at any time, using a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This can make it easier for customers to do business with a company, which can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Electronic signatures can also provide enhanced security for sensitive documents, such as contracts and agreements. Electronic signatures use advanced security measures, such as encryption and authentication, to ensure that documents are signed by the intended parties and are tamper-proof. This can help to build trust with customers, by providing a secure and reliable way to sign and process important documents.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the adoption of electronic signatures is a critical element of digital transformation for SMEs. Electronic signatures offer significant benefits. By streamlining processes, reducing the need for manual work, and enhancing security, electronic signatures can help businesses achieve their digital transformation goals and stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.

Get in touch

The Future of Electronic Signatures

The Future of Electronic Signatures

 

Electronic signatures have been around for some time, but they have become more prevalent in recent years. As businesses have shifted toward digital processes. Join us as we explore the future of electronic signatures. Electronic signatures have made it easier to sign and manage documents. While also reducing costs, saving time, and improving overall productivity. As electronic signature technology continues to evolve, there are several trends that we can expect to see in the future.

Biometric Signatures

Biometric signatures use unique biological characteristics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, to authenticate a signature. This technology provides an additional layer of security. This is because, biometrics make it nearly impossible for anyone else to forge a signature. Biometric signatures can be used in conjunction with other types of electronic signatures, to provide a more secure and efficient way to sign documents.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is already being used in a variety of industries, and electronic signatures are no exception. This technology can be used to create a tamper-proof record of signed documents. As a result, blockchain can be used so that documents can only be accessed and verified by authorized parties. This can help to prevent fraud and ensure the integrity of signed documents. Additionally, using blockchain technology can help to streamline the signing process, reducing the amount of time it takes to complete signatures.

AI-powered Signatures

AI can be used to analyze signatures to ensure that they are genuine and not forged. Additionally, AI can be used to automate the signing process, reducing the amount of time it takes to complete the signing process. As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more advanced uses of AI in the electronic signature industry.

Mobile Signatures

Mobile signatures are becoming increasingly popular, as more people rely on their smartphones and tablets for business and personal use. Therefore, this technology can be used to allow users to sign documents from anywhere, at any time, using their mobile device. This can help to speed up the signing process and make it more convenient for users. Additionally, mobile signatures can also be used in conjunction with other types of electronic signatures, such as digital signatures or click-to-sign.

Cloud-based Signatures

Cloud-based signatures are becoming more popular as businesses continue to shift toward cloud-based services. They allow users to sign and manage documents from anywhere, at any time, using any device with an internet connection. So, this can help to speed up the signing process and make it more convenient for users.

Conclusion

In conclusion, electronic signature technology is continuing to evolve, and these are some of the trends that we can expect to see in the near future. And by staying up-to-date on these trends, businesses can ensure that they are using the most advanced and efficient electronic signature technology available.

Get eSignature Ready

Business Technology Trends 2023

Business Technology Trends 2023

This will be an exciting year for tech, join us, as we look at the business technology trends for 2023. Starting in 2020, tech has been bolstered by
en-masse adoption. That adoption is responsible for tech experiencing an uptick in interest and an acceleration of how it’s used. Now, even
non-technical users are embracing the future of tech and wondering where it will go.

Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning and big data have aided in developing lifelike AI that is chock full of information — but in a more accessible way.

AI will take over as the top tech trend of 2023 because:

  1. It’s used in most of this year’s trending applications
  2. It offers users the personalised experience they desire.

Consider ChatGPT an excellent example of that kind of lifelike intelligence. 

With a plethora of applications, this kind of AI allows us to get precise answers to any number of questions, making interactive software more synergistic.

Businesses will use AI to improve backend and frontend functions, with frontend applications enabling them to offer a personalised service.

Hyper Automation

Businesses have embraced automation for decades, aiding employees with low-complexity, high-volume tasks in many ways.

But hyper-automation isn’t typical automation; it’s proliferated — automating every process in a business. 

In 2023, expect hyper-automation to take centre stage in business processes. Enabling businesses of all sizes to pursue productivity, maintain competitiveness, and achieve profitability in an increasingly challenging — and sometimes hostile — business environment.

Super Apps

All-in-one apps, like WeChat and Alipay, have dominated China for years. Other markets and regions have embraced similar super apps.

Super apps prevent the need to download multiple apps. Allowing a single app to take care of several functions, including financial services, health care services, food and retail services, mobility, and video streaming.

In 2023, more companies will start developing and rolling out their own super apps in the race to become the world’s preeminent super app, much like TikTok has become the world’s preeminent social media platform.

Ambient Computing

As tech becomes more pervasive, users are embracing ambient computing. The kind installed in homes for example,  Alexa, Siri, or Google Home — and waiting to help without prompting.

Although these technologies have been around for several years, the number of functions this type of technology will control will likely multiply in 2023. Furthermore, ambient computing will require less of your intervention in 2023 as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation has developed considerably, and most of your data is already accessible for data gathering.

Now, expect ambient computing to use data from your smartwatch, vehicle, online order history, and even banking and travel information to make decisions in your stead.

Retail and service-oriented companies will likely embrace ambient computing to enhance customer experience and insert their products and services into daily use.

A Web 3.0 Resurgence

As cryptocurrency took a tremendous hit in 2022, so did the tech that makes it possible. Namely blockchain and Web 3.0.

However, given that utility exists in these technologies, Web 3.0, in particular, will emerge from cryptocurrency’s shadow. Becoming a standalone entity in 2023.

Since being the third iteration of the web, which will be decentralised and more transparent. Users will control the pace of Web 3.0’s adoption in 2023 and beyond.

Businesses that want to be future-proof will embrace the transparency of Web 3.0. Creating services that remove third-party oversight and consent, making each transaction a truly business-to-consumer affair.

Conclusion

Tech is becoming more pervasive and more seamless in 2023. Rather than the typical hype-focused trends, like the metaverse in 2022. 2023 is about utility on a massive scale, the kind that will change how businesses plan, operate, interact, and scale.

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming various industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. With AI, businesses can automate processes, gain insights from vast amounts of data, and improve customer experience. However, the increasing use of AI also raises ethical concerns, such as bias, privacy, and accountability. In this article, we will discuss the ethics of AI and how electronic signatures can help businesses address these challenges.

The Challenges of Bias, Privacy, and Accountability in AI

One of the major ethical challenges of AI is bias. AI algorithms learn from data, and if that data is biassed, the results will be biassed as well. An article by IBM  states: “Instances of bias and discrimination across a number of intelligent systems have raised many ethical questions regarding the use of artificial intelligence.” For example, facial recognition technology has been criticized for having racial and gender biases, as the algorithms are often trained on datasets that are not representative of the population as a whole.

Privacy is another major concern in the age of AI. As AI becomes more prevalent, businesses will collect and process vast amounts of personal data. If this data is not properly secured, it could be vulnerable to hacks and breaches, putting people’s privacy at risk.

Finally, accountability is a critical issue in AI. As AI becomes more advanced, it can make decisions that affect people’s lives, such as loan approvals or medical diagnoses. However, if something goes wrong, it can be challenging to determine who is responsible. As such, businesses must ensure that they have the proper means to ensure accountability for the decisions made by AI.

How Electronic Signatures Can Help

Electronic signatures can play a critical role in addressing some of the ethical challenges of AI. For example, electronic signatures can be used to ensure that data is collected and processed in a way that is compliant with privacy regulations. By using electronic signatures to obtain consent from individuals, businesses can ensure that they are collecting data in a transparent and ethical manner. Electronic signatures can also be used to provide a record of who has accessed data and when, which can help ensure accountability for the use of personal data.

Moreover, electronic signatures can help address bias in AI by ensuring that diverse perspectives are included in decision-making processes. For example, businesses can use electronic signatures to obtain feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders on the design and implementation of AI algorithms. By incorporating feedback from different perspectives, businesses can ensure that their AI systems are designed to be inclusive and unbiased.

CONCLUSION

AI has the potential to transform the way businesses operate, but it also presents significant ethical challenges. By using electronic signatures, businesses can address some of these challenges and ensure that their AI systems are designed and implemented in an ethical and responsible manner.

The New Wave of Artificial Intelligence Technologies

The New Wave of Artificial Intelligence Technologies

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a topic of discussion for several decades now and it has come a long way since its inception. The early days of AI were marked by the creation of simple rule-based systems that could perform simple tasks. Like playing chess or solving mathematical problems. However, over the years, AI has evolved into a much more sophisticated and advanced technology. It now has the potential to revolutionize the way we live, work, and interact with each other.

The latest wave of AI technologies has brought about some major breakthroughs. These new AI technologies are characterized by their ability to learn and improve over time, as well as their ability to process vast amounts of data and make predictions and decisions based on that data.

Recent AI technologies have proven to be incredibly powerful, and has led to the development of advanced AI systems such as ChatGPT and Dall-E.

Machine Learning

One of the key drivers behind this new wave of AI technologies is the rapid growth of machine learning algorithms. Machine learning algorithms are a type of AI technology that allows computers to learn from data. Rather than being explicitly programmed to perform a specific task. These algorithms are based on the idea that computers can identify patterns in data and use that information to make predictions and decisions. This approach has proven to be incredibly powerful. Which has led to the development of some of the most advanced AI systems that we see today.

Another important factor contributing to the new wave of AI technologies is the availability of vast amounts of data. With the growth of the internet and the proliferation of connected devices, there is now an unprecedented amount of data being generated every day. This data provides a rich source of information that can be used to train AI systems and make them more accurate and effective.

Deep Learning

One of the most exciting new AI technologies is deep learning. Which is a type of machine learning algorithm that uses artificial neural networks to process and analyze data. Deep learning algorithms are capable of processing vast amounts of data and learning from it in real-time. This means that they can continuously improve and make better decisions over time. This technology has been used to develop some of the most advanced AI systems that we see today, including self-driving cars, speech recognition systems, and image recognition systems.

Natural Language Processing

Another important area of AI technology that is experiencing rapid growth is natural language processing (NLP). NLP is the technology that enables computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language. This technology has been used to develop chatbots and virtual assistants that can converse with humans in a way that feels natural and intuitive. It has also been used to analyze large amounts of text data to gain insights and make predictions.

ChatGPT is an NLP-powered model developed by OpenAI that optimizes customer service operations. It helps companies reduce costs associated with providing customer support  by routing incoming queries into automated conversations with bots.

Robotics

The new wave of AI technologies has also brought about a new era of robotics. Robotics has been around for several decades, but the latest advances in AI have enabled robots to become much more sophisticated and capable. Today, robots are being used to perform a wide range of tasks, from manufacturing and assembly to delivery and logistics. They are also being used in a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, and entertainment.

Computer Vision

Finally, another exciting area of AI technology is computer vision. Computer vision is the technology that enables computers to see and understand the world around them. This technology is being used to develop advanced image and video recognition systems. With the goal being that they can identify objects, people, and even emotions. It is also being used to develop systems that can track and monitor the movement of people and objects in real-time.

Dall-E is a state-of-the-art computer vision AI model also developed by OpenAI that is capable of creating images from textual descriptions. For example, if you describe a toaster that doubles as a hairdryer, Dall-E can create an image of it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the new wave of AI technologies is bringing about major breakthroughs. That will be able to transform the way we live and work. From machine learning algorithms and deep learning to natural language processing, robotics, and computer vision. These technologies are providing us with new and innovative ways to process, analyze, and understand vast amounts of data. Whether we’re talking about self-driving cars, advanced healthcare systems, or smart homes.

Internet of ThingsInternet of Things

IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to the interconnected network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and other objects. These objects are embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity which enables them to collect and exchange data. This network allows these “things” to communicate with each other, enabling new forms of data collection, analysis, and automation.

The concept of IoT has been around for several decades, but it has only recently gained widespread attention. With the advent of new technologies such as low-cost sensors, powerful processors, and widespread connectivity. This has made it possible for everyday objects to be connected to the internet. Communicating with each other in ways that were previously not possible.

IoT devices can range from simple sensors that collect data on temperature or humidity, to more complex devices such as smart appliances, cars, and even buildings. They can also include wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smart watches, which can collect data on a person’s health and activity levels.

 

 

Start Your Digital Transformation NOW

Benefits

One of the key benefits of IoT is the ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data from a wide range of sources. This can provide valuable insights into how people and systems are using energy, resources, and other assets. And can help to identify areas where improvements can be made. For example, IoT can be used to monitor and control energy usage in buildings, optimize traffic flow in cities, and improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes.

Another benefit of IoT is the ability to automate processes and tasks, which can lead to cost savings, improved efficiency, and increased productivity. For example, IoT devices can be used to automatically adjust lighting, temperature, and other environmental controls in buildings, or to schedule maintenance on equipment.

Potential

IoT has the potential to change the way we interact with the world around us. For example, IoT devices can be used to create new forms of communication and collaboration between people and machines. And can even be used to create new forms of entertainment, such as interactive games and virtual reality experiences.

However, IoT also brings new challenges, such as security and privacy concerns. As more and more devices are connected to the internet, the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches increases. It is important for companies and organizations to implement robust security measures to protect their IoT devices and the data they collect.

Conclusion

In conclusion, IoT is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work. It is important for individuals, businesses and governments to understand the capabilities and limitations of IoT. Using it responsibly to improve efficiency, productivity and the overall quality of life.

Get in touch

Electronic Signatures in FinTech: Challenges and Benefits

Electronic Signatures in FinTech: Challenges and Benefits

As electronic signature service providers, we understand that the use of electronic signatures in the FinTech industry can present challenges. That’s why we as Conclude take all necessary measures to mitigate those challenges and ensure the security and integrity of electronic signatures for our clients.

Challenges

One of the major challenges of using electronic signatures in FinTech is security. Electronic signatures are stored electronically and can be at risk of hacking or other forms of digital tampering. To address this, we ensure our electronic signatures follow strict security measures. Such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security updates to protect electronic signature records from unauthorized access or alteration.

Another challenge is the potential for fraud. Electronic signatures can be easily forged, which can lead to fraudulent activity. To reduce this risk, we have advanced authentication procedures and use digital signatures based on internationally recognized standards, which provide a high level of trust and tamper-proofing.

Benefits

Despite these challenges, there are many benefits to using electronic signatures in FinTech. One of the biggest benefits is the increased efficiency and speed of the signing process. With electronic signatures, documents can be signed and processed much more quickly than with traditional signatures. This can save you a significant amount of time and money.

Another benefit is the increased convenience for customers and employees alike. Electronic signatures allow one to sign documents from anywhere, at any time, without the need to physically visit a specific place. This is particularly useful for those who live in remote areas or businesses that have remote employees.

In addition, electronic signatures can help to reduce errors and improve accuracy. With traditional signatures, there is a risk of documents being signed incorrectly or incompletely. Electronic signatures, on the other hand, can be programmed to ensure that all required fields are completed and all terms are agreed to before the document can be signed.

Lastly, the cost savings that can be achieved through the use of electronic signatures. By eliminating the need for paper, printing and mailing costs, businesses can save significant amounts of money on their operations.

CONCLUSION

As a company that provides electronic signature services, we are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of security and integrity for their electronic signatures. We understand the challenges and benefits of using electronic signatures, and we work tirelessly to reduce those challenges while maximizing the benefits for our clients.

Overall, the use of electronic signatures in FinTech presents both challenges and benefits. However, by choosing a reliable electronic signature provider that takes all necessary measures to mitigate the challenges, you can greatly benefit from the increased efficiency, convenience, accuracy, and cost savings offered by electronic signatures.

The Future of Work in the Age of Digital Transformation

The Future of Work in the Age of Digital Transformation

 

As technology continues to advance, the way we work is undergoing a significant change. Digital technologies are changing the way we communicate, collaborate, and get things done. This is having a big impact on the nature of work itself. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key trends shaping the future of work in the age of digital transformation.

Remote Work

One of the biggest trends is the rise of remote work. Digital technologies have made it easier than ever for people to work from anywhere, and more and more businesses are adopting remote work policies as a result. According to a survey by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people working from home – at least half the time – has increased by 173% since 2005. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years, as advances in videoconferencing and collaboration tools make it easier for remote teams to stay connected and productive.

Automation and AI

Another trend is the increasing use of automation and artificial intelligence. As these technologies become more advanced, they are being used to automate tasks and make processes more efficient. This can free up workers to focus on higher-value tasks, but it also means that certain jobs will become obsolete. As a result, it’s important for workers to continuously learn and adapt in order to stay relevant in the changing job market.

Skills and Knowledge

The impact of digital transformation is also being felt in the skills and knowledge required for different job roles. As technology evolves, so do the skills that are in demand. For example, data analysis and programming skills are becoming increasingly important, as businesses look to leverage data to inform decision-making. Additionally, soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving are becoming more valuable. As the ability to work effectively with others becomes increasingly important.

Conclusion

Overall, the future of work in the age of digital transformation is likely to be marked by increased flexibility. The use of automation and AI, and a focus on skills that are adaptable and in demand. Businesses and workers alike will need to be agile and adaptable in order to thrive in this changing landscape. By embracing new technologies and staying up-to-date with the latest trends, businesses can position themselves for success in the digital age.

Get in touch

al

Cultural Transformation

Cultural Transformation

Cultural transformation sounds impressive and something that we should all be embracing, but what does it actually mean? A company’s culture determines the beliefs and behaviours of how employees and management interact. It is reflected in every aspect of how your business operates.

All businesses have their unique culture, which has either been created intentionally or unintentionally. A company’s culture is often implied as opposed to being defined and generally tends to develop over time from the combined characteristics of the people who have been employed

Historically businesses often left their culture to chance or mistakenly believed that by proudly displaying their mission, vision, or values around the office, employees would automatically be aligned with these.

It is critical to remember that your company’s mission, vision, or strategy can change, and culture is often left behind. Research shows that companies whose strategy and culture are aligned are far more likely to be successful than those who ignore the soft issue of culture.

For example, one of your company’s goals may be to provide superior customer service, but if your culture is one of accepting mediocrity, you will never be in a position to achieve that objective.

Implementing a successful cultural transformation

When implementing a cultural transformation within your organisation, it is key to remember that you are not starting from scratch. The first step is to understand where your business is right now, what changes you want to implement and where you want to be.

A cultural transformation is not an overnight event; it will require intense collaboration across your entire business. As mentioned earlier, it is critical to understand your company’s current culture and define what behaviours are and aren’t working.

Communication is crucial and the most important aspect of any change initiative, especially when it comes to cultural transformation. You will never be able to drive change by forcing your vision. Change requires the participation of everyone in the company, from the most junior employee right up to the CEO.

You need to clearly communicate the rationale for the cultural transformation, and what you are trying to achieve. The change needs to make sense. Cultural transformation can only be truly successful when all employees are engaged in creating a new culture. They need to be willing and proactive in identifying areas that need to be improved.

In other words, everyone needs to understand their role and how they fit in. Most importantly, they need to understand the importance and impact of their contribution to the company’s cultural transformation. Change is everyone’s responsibility.

Conclusion

Cultural transformation can revitalise your organisation through collaboration. It can fuel creativity, innovation and most importantly, focus everyone’s attention on the end goal.

A clearly defined culture enables everyone to be on the same page. It holds everyone to the same standards, no matter how senior or junior you are. Holding each other accountable is far easier if there are clear guidelines. But cultural transformations will always fail if people in leadership positions are not at the forefront of change – their actions must always reflect the “new” culture!

A successful cultural transformation should never be thought of as static; it should be a living aspect of your business that continues to evolve inline with your strategy! Your cultural transformation should be continuous and can be achieved through ongoing training and personal development.

Business Model Transformation

Business Model Transformation

Transforming your existing business model is often confused with large projects, which merely implement changes to existing processes. But before we delve into the complexities of business model transformation, we need to be clear on what that means.

A business model is simply a business’s plan for generating profits. The model identifies which products or services the business intends to sell, who their target market is, as well as taking all financial aspects into account. In simple terms, it is the business’s growth strategy. All business models will clearly define their customer’s challenges, the solution they provide, and what opportunities they can take advantage of.

Your business model dictates how you optimise your company’s structure in order to achieve your objectives. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or the size of your business. If you don’t regularly update your model, you will find yourself in an unenviable position. Failing to anticipate or identify new trends and the challenges they bring.

Business Model Transformation

Business model transformation, just like business process transformation, can’t be implemented in isolation. As a business, you need to ensure that your digital transformation strategy is acutely aligned with your objectives.

A clear business model helps all stakeholders understand where the business is heading and how they plan on getting there. Companies now have the added pressure of ensuring their business models take advantage of all the new and exciting developments due to the rapid rise in digital transformation. Otherwise, they will be left behind with an antiquated model while their competition races ahead.

Rob Llewellyn, Chief Executive at CXO Transform, offers one of the better explanations, “Business model transformation won’t happen without innovation. But it needs the right type of innovation, because what typically comes to mind when someone says “innovation” is product innovation. Organisations get consumed with the excitement of creating new products and often little if any attention is given business model innovation.”

This type of transformation focuses more on how you are taking your product or service to market. Business model transformation should be a key focus area. Especially when you consider McKinsey’s research which shows that many businesses anticipate that by 2026 half of their revenue will come from products and services that have yet to be created.

It is now more crucial than ever to identify emerging technologies that will take your business into the future. Trying to improve past and current processes is no guarantee of success, especially when you are attempting to cater for the future, which based on the above research, is unknown.

 

Conclusion

Companies that will be successful in the future will have identified and implemented innovative technology that allows them to be both agile and flexible. Business models can no longer be viewed as static. They should be continuously evolving to keep with the one constant variable – change! Business process transformation is all about looking inwards and improving efficiencies. While business model transformation focuses on looking to the future, which is no easy task.

 

Business Process TransformationBusiness Process Transformation

As we have previously discussed, digital transformation has been at the forefront of most companies’ minds since the start of the pandemic. This area has experienced exponential growth, and for businesses to remain relevant, they need to accelerate the adoption of innovative and emerging technologies.

Objectives of business process transformation

The introduction of any new process into an organisation is based on a need that is generally focused around improving processes within the company to achieve one or all of the following:

  •         Increased operational efficiency
  •         Optimised business processes
  •         Improved business outcomes
  •         Reduction of risks
  •         Improved cost-saving
  •         Differentiation in over-saturated markets
  •         Alignment of processes to new strategies

Manual processes are inherently flawed. They waste time, incur unnecessary costs and increase a company’s risk due to human error.

In addition, regulatory and compliance demands are growing, and businesses are under operational pressure to meet these obligations. As a result, many companies are competing for business, requiring them to undergo due diligence reviews. Companies with streamlined and automated processes are far more likely to be short-listed.

Implementing effective business process transformation

Before you can rush in and improve operational efficiency or align your processes to your new strategy, it is imperative to understand your existing processes. It is critical to the success of your project to review all existing processes so that you can effectively identify what needs to be changed or improved.

Creating a detailed operational view of all your workflows will significantly improve your ability to identify gaps and duplicated or unnecessary processes. In order for your project to be successful, you will need to ensure that you have certain steps in place.

What is the expected outcome of the change?

As an organisation you need to have a clearly articulated objective in mind. Therefore, it is imperative to communicate what outcome you are expecting from this change. This will dictate the direction you follow, and you are more likely to obtain the buy-in of all your internal stakeholders.

Communication

When communicating the upcoming objectives, you need to involve all stakeholders to ensure the success of your business process transformation.

Detailed analysis of existing processes

As mentioned, you need to perform a detailed analysis of your existing processes to identify gaps, etc. Many businesses make the fatal error of creating project management teams which often fail to include the staff who perform the actual work.

Identifying which processes need to be transformed is the only way you will be in a position to determine which digital solutions are the best fit and most likely to make the most significant impact.

Implementing changes is always best done in a phased approach. Firstly this is far more manageable and less overwhelming for everyone involved. Any form of change can be challenging and stressful. Reaching and celebrating milestones is key to keeping everyone on board.

Collaboration

Collaboration with the relevant teams is crucial to the success of your project for two main reasons. Firstly, they are better positioned to identify which tasks should be improved; secondly, without their buy-in, implementing new changes will most likely receive push-back, and unnecessary delays will most likely occur.

Identifying your partners

Another area that can make or break the successful implementation of business process transformation is which providers you partner with. Companies should always research various technology partners and their solutions.

Your external partners need to be involved in each phase, from planning and implementing to testing, so it is imperative to identify the type of support they are willing to provide.

CONCLUSION

For your business process transformation project to be successful, you must first define your objectives. In addition, all of your existing workflows and processes need to be reviewed to identify what needs to be improved and which solution will be most effective.

But without effective collaboration between all internal and external stakeholders, your project is unlikely to succeed. Everyone in your business needs to be able to see the benefits and be willing to work towards your goal.

SmartDocs – What They Are & Why You Need Them

SmartDocs - What They Are & Why You Need Them

 

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or the size of your business; paperwork comes with the territory. As we all know, digital transformation is becoming more and more critical for companies who want to improve processes and efficiencies, increase productivity, and save costs while providing a superior customer experience.

The fastest way to do all of that is by moving away from a manual and paper-filled environment to a digitalised one. And this is where smart documents play a key role. But before we get into the advantages of smart documents and why you need them, let’s have a quick look at what they are.

What are smart docs?

Smart docs are electronic documents that require some form of collaboration. And, as a result, are programmed with relevant functionality to assist with that collaboration. These types of features include, for example, workflow or security features.

Why your business shouldn’t be without them!

One of the most manual-intensive processes any business has to navigate is contract-related. From the moment an agreement is drawn up to the final moment it is signed, the process can require numerous internal and external stakeholders’ involvement.

Smart documents allow you to easily track all changes made to the contract. It is like having a built-in audit trail. Meaning that any amendment or edit can be viewed down to the last detail. Including dates, times, and who made or accepted any changes. And lastly, eSignature functionality ensures that contracts are securely and easily signed.

The automation of the contract management process substantially reduces the time taken to finalise agreements. In addition, agreements are kept secure, and only authorised individuals are able to participate. In other words, your confidential agreements will never mistakenly be sent to the incorrect recipient or signed by individuals who aren’t authorised to do so.

One of the biggest time wasters in any business is when you need to review an old contract. The first challenge can often be retrieving the agreement as the original has been archived or, worse, gone missing. The advantage of smart docs is that you can quickly retrieve your agreement and immediately review the audit trail in the case of disputes etc.

But the above applies to many workflow processes within any business. When it comes to digital transformation, the key objective, in simple terms, is always about finding a better way to do things.

Advantages of smart doc

As mentioned, the requirements around contract management apply to many processes within a business. For example, smart documents give you more control over your business practices and workflow.

  • Version control

Smart documents ensure that there is only one version of the truth. That is fairly obvious regarding agreements, as you always want to ensure that you are reviewing the latest version, but it is also applicable to other areas.

Especially when it comes to brand changes, any company that has made minor or major adjustments to its brand knows how difficult it is to ensure that only the latest documents are being used. If all your documents are digitised, it is simple to implement changes to specific elements. Ensuring that your branding is immediately consistent across all forms of communication your customers receive.

  • Security

Access control can be implemented instantly across any smart document. Which dramatically increases your ability to manage who can access which documents and who has read-only versus editing rights. The permutations are endless.

  • Increased productivity

Any automated process will increase productivity as you and your employees can focus on what is important instead of manual processes with little value add—no more wasting time printing, arranging for delivery, and retrieving documents. Everything can now be done with a few clicks.

Final Note

Many different solutions are available, from the most basic right through to highly complex requirements. We always recommend that you first look at your current business processes and see which ones would benefit the most from digitalisation. Then you can start off slowly, choosing a solution that provides scalability as your digital transformation strategy grows.

Different Types of Digital Transformation

Different Types of Digital Transformation

 

With Digital Transformation, businesses implement new tools and technologies to improve workflows, develop better products and processes, improve customer experience, and create a more efficient business model.

It can happen in steps, with small changes to update old systems at different levels of the business, or through a larger shift in the culture and model of the entire business.

In both cases, businesses will pursue one or a combination of the 4 main types of Digital Transformation outlined in this blog.

Business Process Transformation

Business process transformation changes the way businesses work internally. This is generally how new technologies are introduced and used by employees for their daily tasks. 

This includes automating manual processes to increase efficiency, and allows the business to utilise crucial data to improve the business’s RoI and general business decisions. One of the main purposes of business process transformation is to achieve maximum cost effectiveness. Other objectives include reducing time to market, improving the quality of the products and services, improving customer experience, and improving brand image.

Business Model Transformation

Businesses are starting, more and more, to implement new technologies to transform older business models. Business process transformation is focused on specific areas of the business. However, business model transformation is more for the fundamentals of the business in its industry. Much like the transformation of business meetings, that moved from in-person to completely online.

Business model transformation can be difficult and intimidating. That’s why it requires involvement and leadership. Tackling business model transformation is often recommended to be done while continuing business as usual, and slowly changing it step by step. This type of transformation can open new opportunities for growth. More businesses should pursue this path.

Domain Transformation

Businesses will implement new technologies to redefine their products and services. Which may come in the form of new offerings, or changed offerings. 

As an example, businesses that sell digital products can expand by providing hardware specifically designed to use those digital products in better ways.

Cultural Transformation

This type of digital transformation relates to transforming the culture within the business. And complete digital transformation for a company cannot take place without the support of the business’s employees.

A business that attempts cultural transformation needs to shift the overall way of thinking employees have towards digital innovation and embracing new technologies.

To change a business’s culture, it usually needs to start from the top, and have leaders influencing their employees positively. However, with us being in a digital age, most people are already very open to accepting new methods and technologies.

Conclusion

There may be different types of digital transformation, and each type has its benefits and purpose. But it is important to remember that digital transformation can only be successful when done throughout the entire business.

It is advised to implement it in steps or stages, to reduce the shock to your processes and employees. The end goal, however, must always be to cover the business from top to bottom. And with Conclude by your side, we can help you achieve exactly that.

How Going Paperless Can Benefit Your Business

How Going Paperless Can Benefit Your Business

Going paperless may seem like an impossible task as a business. Without the basic facts, the benefits and convenience of going digital can be lost.

Many businesses can only start enjoying the rewards and daily benefits, not to mention the boost to our conscience – Once you’ve actually experienced the fluidity and convenience of an all-online digital filing and online document management, you’ll be surprised you didn’t convert sooner.

We’ve briefly broken down the best way to streamline your transition to a digital filing system and the best organisation practices for the most popular online and digital file management applications.

Capturing Your Data

The most important part of your digital document management is ensuring you capture all the information clearly and without any errors. Capturing your document info and image is the first step to any good system. Depending on your scanning app, you can send the captured information directly to your Document Management app.

Evernote and Google Drive are the most used due to their versatility and wide range of functions and security protocols. Because they can be integrated into many other apps, these 2 are vastly popular, and we ourselves use Drive. But without an effective solution and system in place, captured documents have a tendency to fall into the ether, and we can help you with that.

Processing Your Documents

The process would be the method used to capture your documents into a Document Management app, what you do with these documents, and where you store them.

Processing is usually done on a slightly longer schedule than capturing and can be executed every fortnight or week. Ensure every file has a relevant tag and logical title. So that once stored, you can easily access them based on an effective management system. 

You can find out more about our Digital Transformation services and Electronic signature solutions to help streamline your digital document management here.

Accessing Your Files

Now is when you’ll start to feel the benefits of going paperless and investing in your digital filing system. Accessing your files at any point during your day and at any location. The use of your smartphone has broken the glass ceiling for business and business owners. Making long-distance communications and transactions a smooth and effortless experience.

You’re not limited to what you can store via your online filing too, and that’s the beauty of a fully digital filing network.

Securing Your Data

Believe it or not, the main security for your digital files is ensuring they are backed up regularly. As important as cyber security is for your files, every email or document you receive is technically already on “the cloud”. And with cloud services strengthening their security protocols, it’s not a difficult task to keep your files safe anymore

It’s also good to check the built-in features of the digital document system you’re using. Ensuring the app prevents invasive permissions and has features such as passcodes and 2-factor authentication.

The Final Paper Cleanse

This can be a daunting process – Old documents are dredged up and stale dust is introduced into the air. Entire document files and cabinets can be included in the cleanse. This is why many don’t find the idea appealing at first.

But there’s a therapeutic quality to transferring everything online, becoming familiar with old documents and forms. And once you’re officially integrated and online, it’s only about the maintenance then.

We are becoming more like digital beings and paperwork online seems like a natural process more and more these days. Once you’ve found the right system for you, your entire business will feel the benefits and ease that digital filing provides for you and your entire business.

 

Contact us here…

The Future of eSignatures

The Future of eSignatures

 

As mentioned in previous blogs, the pandemic led to a rapid rise in digital transformation. As a result, many businesses relooked at their IT strategies and moved to cloud-based platforms. Adopting new software and automated processes as much as possible.

The lockdown became synonymous with remote working. And one of the many challenges faced by most businesses came down to a simple signature. Let’s be honest, the old paper-based process of signing documents has become antiqued, and ‘wet’ signatures are a thing of the past. Especially considering that most transactions occur through the use of electronic signatures with a tablet or smartphone.

This has led to electronic signatures becoming an essential tool in all business environments. There are significant benefits for businesses adopting electronic signatures. From greater efficiency and better user experiences to compliance and sustainability, to name a few. And if you are in any doubt, have a look at our previous blog where we highlighted how eSignatures have improved businesses for the better.

Taking the customer experience to the next level

Although electronic or digital signatures have increased efficiencies and improved customer experiences, they no longer necessarily offer you a competitive edge. Well, that’s if you take into account that research conducted in 2021, found that 95% of organizations either currently use e-signatures or plan to use them in the near future.

These days, most customers and counterparties expect electronic signatures to be standard practice. So, for those of you who haven’t adopted electronic signatures as part of your processes – you are being left behind.

To gain a competitive edge, look at the bigger picture and connecting more tools to your eSignature capabilities. For example, one of the recommendations is to use integrations that will automatically fill in agreement information.

Electronically signed agreements and witnessing

One of the challenges companies face is when documents are needed to be formally witnessed, for instance, affidavits or powers of attorney. This has added a manual step to the eSignature solution.

There has, however, been a push to legally recognise online witnessing services, and several states in the U.S. and Australia have already implemented the use of remote electronic witnessing. This is a trend that will likely continue as other countries change their regulations to accommodate remote witnessing.

Improving security and confidentiality

There are different types of eSignatures, electronic and digital. The expectation is that companies are more likely to adopt digital signatures. Digital signatures have the added benefit of encryption technology which prevents editing of a document once it has been signed. These solutions also include additional steps which validate the signer’s identity.

With the increase in privacy laws like POPIA it is important to ensure that agreements and personal information are not widely available within any organisation. Personal information must be protected from an access perspective. The introduction of electronic signatures ensures that only individuals who are party to the agreement process have access. Agreements that are manually signed have inherent confidentiality risks. Honestly, many agreements that require manual signing are often left on desks and can be viewed by unauthorised individuals. There is also the risk that agreements can get lost, and finally, digital signatures provide an audit trail which is particularly important when it comes to disputes.

Sustainability

Globally businesses are under pressure to implement more environmentally friendly practices. Implementing electronic signatures plays a key role in creating a paperless environment and is one of the easiest ways a company can kick off its sustainability journey.

As mentioned in a previous post, to put it in perspective, 45% of all municipal waste in the U.S. is produced at work, and offices in the U.S. use approximately 12 trillion sheets of paper every year. That equates to at least 100 million trees.

Conclusion

Electronic signatures are here to stay and will be integral to any business’s standard operating procedures. Customisation through the integration of additional tools will continue to evolve – electronic signatures have opened a whole new world in creating a seamless digital experience for both customers and businesses. Make sure your business isn’t being left behind!

Get in touch

 

The Impact of Remote Work on Business

The Impact of Remote Work on Business

Remote work has become the new normal for most companies, but what is the impact of remote work on business? Back in 2019, according to European statistics, only 5.4% of full-time employees worked from home. As expected, that number increased exponentially during the pandemic, leading to approximately 70% of full-time employees working remotely.

It is currently estimated that 16% of global companies work 100% remotely. In comparison, 40% of companies use a hybrid model, while 44% of the companies surveyed work full-time from the office.

Upwork conducted a survey indicating that 61.9% of the companies surveyed were considering adopting remote work or a hybrid model going forward. So, based on the above statistics, we can safely say that remote work/hybrid models are here to stay.

Advantages of Remote Work

There are many advantages to remote working, and with the advances in technology, we were inevitably going to head in this direction anyway. The pandemic just sped things up. SMEs are often far more agile and have adopted the WFH model far more easily than their larger counterparts.

Every business is interested in its bottom line, and remote working or the hybrid model has introduced some interesting questions. For example, do you need the same amount of office space? Do employees require dedicated workstations? The office concept is radically changing. And businesses are reducing the size of their office space or taking advantage of shared office spaces.

Pure remote working has provided many employees with a far better work/life balance, leading to happier and far more productive staff. This is not a new concept, as a 2017 Gallup study showed that employees who worked from home worked on average four more hours per week than if they were office based, were far more engaged, and absenteeism rates were also lower.

Another advantage for businesses is that the employment pool has dramatically increased as companies can employ staff regardless of their location. There has also been an increase in the usage of freelancers, specifically in the tech space.

A significant impact of remote work has forced businesses to relook at how they work. The rapid rise in digital transformation has seen the introduction of automation across the board, and manual processes have been substantially reduced. As a result, workflow processes have become far more streamlined, leading to increased efficiency.

One area that has seen an increased investment is cybersecurity. Historically this was always taken seriously but “neglected” at the same time. Remote working has forced companies to identify gaps, and cybersecurity has become a priority in technology strategies.

Company Culture and the Human Connection

A significant impact of the WFH concept is on company culture and the connections we form with our colleagues. You may be surprised to know that when a group of business leaders were asked about their main concerns, employee productivity wasn’t number one.

Their biggest concern was around maintaining the corporate culture. Culture is often underestimated. But it is crucial to how companies produce results and interact with each other and their customers.

Businesses often underestimate the value of the human connection and its importance, especially with regards to how their employees are doing. Research has shown that as a result, approximately 61% of business leaders have implemented frequent employee check-ins in an attempt to maintain those all-important relationships.

One of the drawbacks to remote working is around the appointment of new staff. Employees who had worked together prior to the pandemic had developed connections and identified with the corporate culture. According to TINYpulse, peer recognition has dropped by 34%, and new appointments are less likely to be aware of company values.

Conclusion

As we said, remote work is here to stay, and if nothing else, it has brought innovation and out-of-the-box thinking along with it. Companies have had to become flexible, and agile and are far more open to new ideas.

The way of work has been changed forever; working environments are continually evolving, providing endless new opportunities. But some things don’t change; for businesses to be successful, they will always need happy, dedicated, and productive staff.

How eSignatures have Changed Business for the Better

How eSignatures have Changed Business for the Better

If you’ve ever wondered how eSignatures have changed business for the better, here’s your chance to find out why.

Most businesses have had to embrace some serious changes over the past few years with the pandemic. Leading to a rapid rise in digital transformation and the introduction of remote and hybrid work models. 

Research has shown that around two-thirds of “eSignature” users only started adopting this technology over the last 2 years. This huge increase in the usage of eSignatures can be attributed to the fact that the way we work has forever changed. 

Businesses are relooking at their IT strategies. Specifically at how technology can improve efficiencies, create superior customer experiences, and enable employees to be productive. Both in and outside of the office. eSignatures now form an integral part of this strategy.

Benefits of eSignatures

 

Customer experience – making it easier to deal with you

These days all businesses are operating in a highly competitive market and providing a superior customer experience is key. According to research, 57% of businesses that have implemented eSignatures reported an increase in customer satisfaction. Purely based on the back of the digital agreement process.

In this digital age, customers expect a seamless, easy, and swift experience and this is exactly what eSignatures cater for. Any document that requires a signature can be signed and immediately returned. No matter where you are located or which device you are using.

Increased efficiencies – eliminating those antiquated manual processes

Anything manual comes with its own inherent risks. And that is particularly relevant when we look at the agreement process. eSignatures enable any business to completely automate your agreement/contract lifecycle and according to research, eSignatures lead to on average, 49% fewer errors.

The agreement process has multiple touch points across all areas of any business, both internally and externally. Once an agreement or document has been finalised and is ready for signature, it can be the start of a tedious and time-consuming process. Ask anyone who has had to run around trying to obtain signatures internally, let alone approaching the customer. But with eSignatures, the process becomes streamlined, simple and efficient.

As the old adage goes, time is money and manual processes are a prime example. Especially when it comes to printing out contracts, wasting time locating and following up with authorised signatories, tracking changes, and then there is always the risk that your contract goes missing. 

Better Security – minimise those risks

eSignatures also provide that all-important privacy and security aspect. Documents that need to be physically handed from one signer to another can easily lead to privacy breaches. Esignature solutions ensure the document is stored digitally in a single location, changes are tracked throughout the process, and access is only provided to those who need it.

In other words, there is an accurate and auditable electronic trail of the entire transaction. This becomes especially important when a dispute occurs. Esignature solutions allow you to view the entire history of all actions taken in relation to each and every document. This includes aspects like when the document was opened and signed, and obviously any changes that were made prior to signature.

And then there is the storage process. Ensuring documents are stored safely and securely and are easily retrieved is crucial for all businesses. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to locate a contract that has been filed incorrectly or worst-case scenario, gone missing. An added benefit is that eSignatures reduce the need for printing documents, thereby reducing your environmental footprint.

 

Increased productivity – making life easier for your staff

Removing manual processes that waste time and resources will allow your staff to spend more time doing things that actually add value to your business. A prime example is within your business development area. Staff can utilise their time far more effectively contacting clients than wasting time running around trying to obtain signatures.

With the onset of remote working and hybrid models, eSignatures have become crucial. Staff now work remotely and not all staff have access to printers and scanners, and if you have ever tried to obtain signatures from remote workers, you know how time-consuming this can be. As we said earlier, with eSignatures, you can easily sign a document no matter where you are located or which device you are using.

 

Moving with the times

eSignatures are not new concepts and historically small to medium size businesses have often put them on that “something we need to look at” or that “nice to have” list. But if you are looking at taking your business to the next level, eSignatures are something you simply can’t afford to ignore!

 

Contact us here…

What is Identity Security?

What is Identity Security?

With the onset of digital transformation, customers have come to expect a quick, easy and seamless service. That’s why businesses in turn have become more focused than ever on delivering a superior user experience.

Part of this transformation has been to remove the administrative burden through manual processes, especially when it comes to signing contracts and forms. This rapid rise in digital innovation has changed the way we interact. Whether you are a consumer or a business, trust plays an integral part in how we conduct our business digitally.

When it comes to transacting in the digital world, it is imperative that your business is protected against potential risks that specifically target digital identities. Put simply, we need to know that who we are dealing with or entering into a contract with, is actually who we think they are.

Identity Security – what is it?

Identity security is all about protecting digital identities and that includes employees, contractors, third parties, customers, and even machines. Not only does it ensure that all users are who they say they are but also ensures they are only performing functions that they are authorised to do. As a business, you need to make sure that only authorised users have access to sensitive information and that your data is never compromised.

The implementation of identity security involves defining and setting up user roles. As a business, you need to understand who requires what access. And you also need to be able to modify or remove that access as and when required.

Another aspect is the creation of policies that define and govern the access throughout that specific digital identity’s lifecycle. It’s all about creating access controls. These types of controls include how you authenticate identities accurately. As well as the process of authorising each identity with the proper permissions and access. All while ensuring that the entire process can be audited.

Identity Security and Electronic Signatures

Electronic signatures and identity security work hand in hand to create trust between two parties. Electronic signatures use encryption technology to prevent unauthorised editing of the document at any stage of the signing process.

When electronic signatures have been combined with identity security, there is no doubt as to the validity of the signer’s identity and this type of authentication also prevents unauthorised users from signing any documents. In other words, it protects the integrity of the signed documents.

Can you afford to ignore identity security?

A report by the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) showed that 84% of organisations experienced an identity-related breach and surprisingly, 96% of those breaches could have been prevented.

The same report investigated the impact of these breaches on various organisations and the results showed, “malicious attacks on applications or systems (32%); a period where IT systems were unavailable or degraded (28%); and products, services, and solutions delivered by the organization being compromised (21%). Seventeen percent indicated they were a victim of a ransomware attack.”

CONCLUSION

If you are still in doubt, there are a host of benefits to implementing identity security controls within your business. These include the protection of sensitive/confidential information from unauthorised access and the protection of privacy. Which as we all know with POPIA has become crucial for all businesses. This is especially applicable when it comes to protecting your customer’s personal information. Ensuring that only authorised users have access to it.

By not prioritising identity security in your business, your bottom line is likely to be impacted and your reputational risk is heightened. Businesses need to be proactive when approaching digital security. Especially with the rise in remote work, identity security needs to be at the forefront of any technology strategy. After all, in this digital age, you can’t do business without technology, and you certainly can’t afford to use technology without identity security.

Focus on Customer Experience

Why you should focus on Customer Experience

As every business knows the market is competitive and having a superior product or service is no longer enough to attract and retain customers. It all boils down to how focused you are on your customer’s experience.

Any touchpoint where your company interacts with an existing or potential customer contributes to their overall customer experience. And that experience is what creates their perception of your brand.

 

Benefits of focusing on customer experience

There are 3 main benefits that arise when your customer has a positive experience with your business – increased customer loyalty, improved customer retention, and finally, new customers through referrals.

What makes a loyal customer? Loyal customers are those who have formed an emotional connection with your brand, and they become attached when they remember how they felt when they used your product or service.

Research also shows that customers will spend far more money with businesses that provide an exceptional customer experience – it all comes down to beating expectations and once you do that, you not only have a loyal customer but one that will keep coming back.

Customers are also less likely to buy from your competition if they enjoyed the experience of interacting with your business – but if they had a negative experience, almost 90% of customers will head off to your competition.

A positive customer experience will also translate into recommendations and referrals – and let’s be honest, that is free advertising. People are more likely to buy from businesses that receive positive reviews or recommendations, especially considering around 50% of customers research their products and services before they finally decide whether or not to buy or use a specific product or service!

Customer journey

Many businesses don’t take the time to map out their customer’s journey which is crucial to gain an in-depth understanding of their experience. Mapping out your customer’s journey or experience is all about identifying every single touchpoint where a customer interaction occurs.

Your goal should always be to ensure that it is never difficult to deal with your business. It is crucial to remember that every touchpoint is important. It can be as simple as a call to your business and coming across an unhelpful employee to a frustrating online interaction, that can see your potential or existing customer heading off into the distance.

Mapping out the journey alone won’t suffice; it is also important to engage your employees as they are at the forefront of your customer’s engagement and are more likely to understand where bottlenecks or frustrations occur. Customer feedback is another area that will help you improve your business. Remember a negative customer experience can be turned into a positive one if immediately dealt with and rectified.

 

Make it easy to deal with you!!

One positive thing that the pandemic has introduced, has been the rapid increase in digital transformation. Interacting with businesses online has become par for the course and your digital presence has never been more important than now.

Customers want their experience to be easy and seamless – for example, if your customers are getting bogged down with manual processes like downloading forms or web pages that take too long to download, they will look elsewhere, and you won’t even know it.

Investing for the future

Improving your customer’s experience may have an initial associated cost but investing in ensuring your customer has a positive experience will inevitably save you more in the long term – after all, it is far more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain one. The best way to look at it is that you are investing in your customer’s experience to create a more profitable future for your business!

 

The Best Things About Being a Woman in Tech

Besides being one of the fastest growing industries, the tech industry also happens to be one of the most exciting and innovative industries around. As we know the pandemic has revolutionised the way we work. And as a result, we have seen a rapid increase in digital transformation. According to a report by CompTia, the global tech industry is expected to grow by more than $5.3 trillion in 2022  and along with that, we will continue to see ongoing demand for IT skills.

Over the past few years, awareness has substantially increased when it comes to the gender gap within the tech industry. This is at last providing women with those much-needed opportunities. Women are now being taken far more seriously than before and their contribution is finally being realised and more importantly valued and sought after.

 

The Best Things About Being a Woman in Tech

 

Growth Industry

As mentioned, the tech industry is one of the fastest growing industries. Some reports stating that it is growing 6 times faster than other industries. Any fast-growing industry not only offers employment opportunities but also offers exciting learning opportunities. Women are now finding themselves at the forefront of innovation and part of revolutionising the way all companies will work going forward.

Blakelee Mills, CEO of house Golden Software, a scientific graphics software company said, “I serendipitously entered the technological space, and I’ve remained because of the ever-changing nature of the industry. Technology is the driving force behind the majority, if not all, of today’s innovations.”

Another successful woman who has been attracted because of the continual learning opportunities is Bhavya Aggarwal. She is the co-founder of zipBoard, who said, “I thoroughly enjoy being in tech, because of the ever-changing world of technology. I love the idea of being able to learn so much and still not know enough.”

Flexibility

The tech industry offers women flexibility. Providing for a more sustainable work-life balance than ever seen before. As most tech-related jobs allow for remote working or a hybrid work solution.

But flexibility doesn’t just refer to that important work-life balance, it also refers to the fact, that with the right skill set you can work for just about any company, anywhere in the world. Dr. Rebecca Sykes says it perfectly, “A benefit of working in technology is that I have acquired a unique skill set which has meant I am able to move to many different roles in my company.”

It’s not all about code

Working within the tech industry doesn’t mean it’s all about code. The tech industry doesn’t just need programmers and developers. Like any organisation, it needs everything from graphic designers through to marketing and project management.

These roles offer many women an entry into the tech sector and the opportunity to be part of this exciting and innovative industry.

Opportunities Abound

As a woman, there has never been a better time to be involved in the tech industry than right now! Dave Gibbs, a specialist at the National STEM Learning Centre and Network says, “There is so much opportunity out there for women going to work in information technology. Now that the companies are beginning to wake up to the value of women in the industry, both as customers and employees, there are endless possibilities to explore.”

There are many opportunities for women within the tech sector, we just need to go out there and grab them. And that’s another great thing about being a woman in tech at the moment. We are responsible for levelling the playing fields for the women who will follow.

So enjoy the last few days of Woman’s Month and go out there and make your mark!

Get in touch

The Best Careers for Women in Tech

The technology industry is one of the most innovative and fastest growing industries out there and the rapid rise in digital transformation has led to an abundance of new and exciting opportunities.

When it comes to women in tech, no career path is off limits. This is our take on the best careers for women in tech. From start-ups to innovative tech companies and large corporations, the industry offers a wide and diverse array of career paths. In other words, the options are endless. Slice has a good list of other options, we may not cover in this blog.

Our previous articles have shown how women have played and continue to play a significant role within the technology landscape. Now is the perfect time to take your skills and make your mark in this industry. After all, technology is crucial to shaping the future of people and companies across the board.

As in any industry, hard-working and skilled individuals are in demand and there isn’t a company out there that doesn’t require tech skills in one form or another and as we know women bring that much-needed creativity and diversity to the table.

The Best Careers for Women in Tech

The Advantage of Coding

Whether you want to be a programmer, game developer, or even a data scientist, you need to understand code! One of the biggest advantages of coding is that it offers you unlimited growth potential.

Standing out from the crowd is something we all want to do and learning to code and understanding programming languages will do just that. It is a huge advantage even if you are in a non-technical role as coding helps you communicate with programmers which you will inevitably come across and have to work with.

Coding is an exciting career path and in simple terms means writing codes that machines can understand.  Coders need to be proficient in various programming languages like Java, Python, etc, be mathematically inclined as well as being logical, analytical and creative.

The Exciting World of Data Science

Data is a valuable commodity and crucial to any company’s success. Organisations, businesses and even governments’ focus has increasingly shifted towards analytics and data-driven decisions and solutions. And this is where an exciting career in data science starts.

Data science is considered to be one of the most revolutionary fields at the moment as we are seeing continued significant progress and development within this area. – especially when it comes to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

A career in data science is perfect if you firstly love data!  Data Science suits women who are logical, analytical, and are familiar with standard business operations. Here is where coding helps as you need to be familiar with programming languages and similar to coding, maths is definitely a requirement!

Career Paths in Data Science

Data scientists are responsible for capturing, maintaining, processing, and analysing data across an organisation. This is a relatively new career path and offers endless possibilities as machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to develop.

Many data scientists are now specialising and moving into roles like machine learning engineers where they manage the artificial intelligence and machine learning elements within different data structures and environments.

Other roles within data science include business and data analysts, business intelligence developers, data engineers, and architects.

There are also exciting roles like CV (Computer Vision) Engineers whose role involves applying computer vision, deep learning, and machine learning algorithms to enable computers to understand information from images or videos. Another role in machine learning is an NLP (Natural Language Processing) Engineer who applies machine learning concepts enabling computers to interpret textual information.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a hot topic, and this sector has seen exponential growth with companies becoming more vulnerable to data breaches as we are now often seeing in the media.

Positions like Information Security Engineers play an integral role within any organisation as they are responsible for building and designing security systems for networks and applications. These types of positions require knowledge of Linux, Unix, and Java systems as well as software coding experience in SSL, SSH and SIEM systems.

Changing Perceptions

Everyone talks about the gender gap within the tech industry and changing perceptions of this male-dominated industry. But we can only change perceptions by increasing the number of highly skilled women and that starts at school-level ensuring young women choose STEM subjects and exposing them to this exciting and innovative industry. 

Find Your Dream Job

5 Most Influential Women in Tech

There may not be enough women within the technology industry. But the women who are involved, have risen to prominent positions despite the challenges they have faced. These women have blazed the path for others to follow more easily.

In line with women’s month, we want to honour these women who have provided inspiration. And prove that no matter what you face, if you are hardworking and dedicated, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Women in the technology field have and still are making a significant impact and bringing about that much-needed change and diversity.

5 Most Influential Women in Tech

Grace Hopper, computer scientist and programmer

“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, “We’ve always done it this way.” I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counterclockwise.” Grace Hopper

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was a pioneer within the technology industry with her work leading to the development of COBOL. She was one of the first three modern programmers. And was one of the first computer programmers to work on the Harvard Mark1 (IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator)

Another claim to fame is that she is said to be responsible for the phrase “It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” And perhaps more women need to take that on board.

Radia Perlman, The Mother of the Internet

“The world would be a better place if more engineers, like me, hated technology. The stuff I design, if I’m successful, nobody will ever notice. Things will just work and will be self-managing.” Radia Perlman

Raida Perlman is often referred to as the “Mother of the Internet”. As she is responsible for the algorithm behind the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). Which was instrumental in making the Internet a possibility. Her research has made an impact on how networks organise themselves and move data. Providing the basic rules of internet traffic.

She now works as a programmer and engineer for Dell EMC and is a sought-after keynote speaker. Radia was a Fellow at Sun Microsystems and has received Lifetime Achievement awards from USENIX and the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication. She has also lectured at the University of Washington, Harvard University, and MIT.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

“Though we do need more women to graduate with technical degrees, I always like to remind women that you don’t need to have science or technology degrees to build a career in tech.” Susan Wojcicki

When it comes to women in tech, Susan Wojcicki is right up there. Because she has made both Forbes’s Self-made Women’s list (2022) and their Power Women’s list (2021). In 1998 Susan rented out her garage to Google co-founders Sergy Brin and Larry Page. And this is where they developed Google’s search engine.

She was hired as their 16th employee in 1999 and was involved with everything from AdSense and Google Analytics through to Google Books and Images. In 2006 she saw a gap in the market and was the driving force behind the acquisition of YouTube which she has run since 2014.

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code

“I want the next generation of Mark Zuckerbergs and Jack Dorseys to be women.” Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani’s focus has been around building movements to fight for the economic empowerment of women and girls. One of her goals has been to increase the number of women in computer science and close the gender gap within the technology field. She believes that if you teach one girl to code, she will teach four and as a result, she formed the non-profit organisation Girls Who Code

She has authored many books. Especially known for her New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the world. As well as her TED talk “Teach women bravery, not perfection.”

Kate Crawford, co-founder of the AI Now Institute

“Sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination are being built into the machine-learning algorithms that underlie the technology behind many ‘intelligent’ systems that shape how we are categorised and advertised to.” Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford has spent the majority of her career trying to understand the benefits and the dangers of AI and machine learning. Her book, Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence has provided a different perspective on AI leading which has led to increased debate. She is a thought leader on the social and political implications of AI. This means she has spent most of her career focusing on understanding large-scale data systems, machine learning, and AI within a wider context.

Conclusion

We think Melinda Gates says it best – “When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else.”

Women in Technology – far too few!!

There is one thing we can all agree on, there are far too few women in technology. Although the statistics don’t look great, there is progress. And if the past 2 years have taught us anything, change is the only certainty.

Women in Technology

The Statistics

According to Women in Tech ZA, “Only 23% of tech jobs are held by women in South Africa – out of 236 000 ICT (tech) roles, women occupy 56 000 of them.” That is an unbelievably low number. But when it comes to addressing gender imbalance within the technology sector, South Africa is not alone.

Globally only 24% of tech jobs are held by women. Although companies like Apple, Facebook and Google have tried to narrow the gender gap and create more diversity, the numbers still don’t come close with on average only 30% of their workforce being women.

When we start delving into the executive side of the tech industry. Sadly the numbers are not reflective of the skills women bring to the table. Especially when you consider that tech companies led by women, performed on average three times better than those with male CEOs – according to Fortune magazine.

Looking at Fortune 500 companies, only 5 of the 41 companies in the technology sector have women CEOs. Women hold a mere 14.3% of the board seats at tech companies and only 11% of executive positions at Silicon Valley companies.

Changing Perceptions

It’s all down to changing perceptions of both men and women! According to PeerJ Computer Science, computer code that had been written by women was accepted around 80% of the time on GitHub. This was actually 4% more than code written by men. However, that was only when the coder’s gender was kept secret. When contributors’ gender could be identified, men’s code was accepted at a higher rate.

Changing perceptions of women may take some time. But with the rapid increase in digital transformation, there will be many new opportunities available to women. Flexibility has always been attractive to working mothers. Fortunately, many roles in the technology sector lend themselves to remote working providing that much-needed flexibility.

Education

Technology has been a male-dominated industry. One of the ways to change that is by educating young women about the many exciting roles that are available within the industry. Reshma Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code. Which is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to close the gender imbalance in technology. She believes, “By teaching our girls to code, we’re not just preparing them to enter the workforce — we’re preparing them to lead it.”

Here in South Africa, we have our very own Girlcode whose objective is to empower 10 million women and girls with tech skills by 2030.

Changing the Gender Imbalance

August is women’s month and perhaps it’s time to look at things differently. Addressing and changing the gender imbalance should not be about ensuring companies employ equal numbers of men and women. It should be about ensuring that women are provided with equal opportunities to choose their career paths, receive the same growth prospects and be paid equally regardless of their gender.

POPIA – Everything you need to know

POPIA - Everything you need to know

 

It’s been 2 years since POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013) came into effect on the 1st of July 2020. As all businesses know, data is one of your most valuable assets. And you need to ensure that you do not unintentionally fall foul of the Act.

The Act serves to protect everyone’s right to privacy. By regulating the processing of personal information by public and private bodies. This includes unlawful collection, retention and dissemination, and use of any data subject’s personal information.

 

What does this mean for your business?

As a business, you need to comply with the 8 conditions that set out the minimum requirements of processing information. These are as follows:

 

Accountability simply refers to the fact that as a business you are accountable for complying with the Act.

Processing limitation stipulates that personal information must be processed lawfully and in a reasonable manner that does not infringe on the privacy of the data subject.

Purpose specification defines that personal information can only be collected for a specific purpose and that the data subject is aware of that purpose, it also advises that you can’t retain the information longer than is necessary.

Security safeguards are another key area. As a business, you need to ensure that you have safety measures in place to protect the information you collect. This extends to any third party that processes information on your behalf.

 

Information quality refers to your responsibility to ensure that you have taken reasonable and practical steps to ensure that the relevant personal information is complete, accurate, not misleading, and updated accordingly.

Openness is where you are required to maintain documentation of all your relevant processing operations as per the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). This relates to ensuring that you have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the data subject is aware of the information being collected, the purpose of the information collection, etc.

Further processing limitation is where additional processing of personal information may occur, in these instances, you need to ensure that it is still in line with the original purpose for which it was collected.

Data subject participation is where data subjects can request to have their information updated or deleted.

 

Implementation of POPIA

Businesses need to appoint an Information Officer who is responsible for POPIA compliance. The Information Officer deals with any privacy requests and is also responsible for interacting with the Information Regulator.

When it comes to your client’s personal information there are two key changes. The first change is around consent – before you can save any of your client’s information, you will need their consent. The second key change is how you store your client’s information. You need to be able to prove at any given time that this information is stored securely. And that it’s only used for the purpose you initially collected it for.

Data that is stored in a central secure location is easier to manage. So many businesses make use of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Systems to fulfill this function. Reminders can be set to ensure data is kept up to date, deleted after a certain period (if required) and access can be limited to certain individuals within a business. Gone are the days when employees save clients’ information onto their devices that anyone within the business can access.  

Even something as simple as printing out a client’s personal information has its pitfalls. Businesses that need to print out personal information have implemented security codes on their printers so that client information does not lie forgotten on a printer.

What does POPIA mean for consumers?

The biggest change for consumers is that POPIA has provided consumers with rights when it comes to their personal information. The Act passes control to consumers in terms of who has access to their personal information, as well as how it is stored and used. Consumers now have the right to access, correct, and delete information businesses may have of theirs.

Businesses can’t store your information without your consent, and they cannot store your information for longer than necessary.

The Act doesn’t however, prevent any businesses from performing their duties or functions in terms of the law.

Conclusion

POPIA places responsibility on businesses to ensure they are compliant. However, consumers need to educate themselves on their rights as they now have more control over their data.

The next time you receive an unsolicited call from a business, be sure to find out where/how they got your information. And if you no longer want their calls, be sure to tell them to remove your details from their database.

Get in touch

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0

There is a lot of talk around Industry 4.0, but is it something we need to be looking at? 

Industry 4.0 is simply the buzzword for the 4th Industrial Revolution. In other words, revolutions are driven by innovation and previous revolutions dramatically changed the way industries worked and produced goods. As a result, with Industry 4.0, we are seeing an incredible increase in digital transformation through the adoption and integration of the latest technologies.

Futurist Daniel Burrus probably describes it best – “The general definition of Industry 4.0 is the rise of digital industrial technology … Industry 4.0 transformations allow us to work alongside machines in new, highly productive ways.

Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation

Digitally transforming the way businesses manufacture, evaluate and improve their processes, as well as how they distribute their products, is what Industry 4.0 is all about.

According to SAP,” Industry 4.0 is built on nine technology pillars. These innovations bridge the physical and digital worlds and make smart and autonomous systems possible.”

  • Big Data and AI Analytics
  • Horizontal and vertical integration
  • Cloud computing
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  • Additive manufacturing/3D printing
  • Autonomous robots
  • Simulation/digital twins
  • Cybersecurity

The true impact of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation occurs when these technologies are digitally connected and can create and share information. Through this transformation, computers are no longer stand-alone. They are now able to connect, communicate with one another and make decisions without human intervention. And this combination of technologies has seen smart machines become smarter as they are continually able to access more data.

So, in essence, this is the way new technologies communicate and connect.

 

Benefits 

The ability of smart machines or cyber-physical systems – where products and production processes are networked and are able to communicate has seen new improved ways of production, as well as the capability to create value and optimisation in real-time.

Businesses that have taken advantage of all of what it currently has to offer have seen an increase in automation and process improvements which has also led to a substantial improvement in efficiencies and customer service.

‘Smart factories’ is another phrase we are seeing more of. These factories have the ability to collect and analyse large amounts of data collected from sensors allowing for things like predictive maintenance which has seen a massive decrease in their downtime.

Supply chain and logistics are other areas that are reaping the benefits of Industry 4.0. Where connected systems can adjust when new information is received. For example, if shipments have been delayed, a connected system can adjust accordingly and can reprioritise.

Shipping yards have seen the introduction of autonomous equipment like cranes and trucks which have streamlined their operations when it comes to receiving shipping containers. Companies like Amazon make use of autonomous robots. Which transport their products throughout their warehouses, reducing costs and optimising the use of their floor space.

Conclusion

Previously this type of digital transformation hasn’t necessarily been thought of as something small to medium enterprises can take advantage of. But there really is no excuse as every business should be looking at how they can integrate all the new available technologies. Industry 4.0 is something that should be embedded within any business’s digital strategy. It’s all about enabling these technologies to connect and communicate, taking your business to the next level.

Contact us here…

 

Let us know what your thoughts are on our blogs!

Choosing the Right eSignature Solution

Choosing the right eSignature Solutions

Choosing the right eSignature solution can be concerning when you don’t have access to all the information you need. And with the rapid rise in digital transformation, eSignature solutions have become par for the course and quite frankly, no business should be without one. Fortunately, there are a host of options available. But finding the perfect solution for your business can be challenging if you’re not sure what to look out for. 

You will probably be surprised to know that here in South Africa, electronic signatures were approved back in 2002 under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA). So, they have been around for a while and from a legal perspective, the law doesn’t differentiate between electronic signatures and hand-written ones.  

When it comes to making that all-important decision, your first port of call should be to define what your business requires from an eSignature solution.  Here are some key factors to take into consideration before diving in.

Types of eSignatures

There are two main types of eSignatures, electronic and digital. Simple electronic signatures (SES) fall into the electronic category while advanced electronic signatures (AES) and qualified electronic signatures (QES) are classified as digital signatures. 

An electronic signature can be a scanned handwritten signature, or a signature drawn with digital tools. Digital signatures use encryption technology to prevent anyone from editing a digital document once it has been signed. These solutions often also provide additional steps to validate the identity of the signer.

Deciding between an electronic and digital solution comes down to your compliance requirements. If you need an audit trail and surety that the document cannot be tampered with post signature, the digital solution is the way to go.

Ease of use

It’s important to ensure that new products you add to your organisation don’t change the way you currently work. Make sure whichever solution you choose easily integrates with your existing applications like Adobe PDFs, Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.

Digital transformation should be about improving and streamlining existing processes and your eSignature solution should be simple, quick, and intuitive for everyone to use.

Flexibility

Within each business, different departments have their own specific needs. You want to ensure whichever solution you choose not only meets your existing requirements, but also your future requirements. 

Your solution should provide the flexibility to have different types of signatures. Like the ability to customise, have multiple signatures per document, and batch signing processes if necessary.

Users should be able to sign electronically no matter what time it is, where they are located and no matter which device they are using. Your eSignature solution should allow your employees, partners and clients to sign without having to install specific software.

Control

As a business, you always want to maintain control of your documents. So it is vital to ensure that all of your documents remain within your IT domain and are not saved on external servers. This is especially important to the South African market with the introduction of POPIA.

CONCLUSION

Digital transformation and eSignatures go hand in hand. They are one of the key ways to reduce manual processes within any business. We have seen a huge increase in demand for these solutions. Especially with the introduction of remote working and the hybrid work model.  

No matter which solution you choose, your business and your clients will reap the benefits of eSignatures. Leaving you wondering why you never implemented it earlier!

eSignatures for Education

e-Signatures for Education

Digitising forms and administrative workflows with Conclude’s e-signing solutions is a simple way for schools and other educational institutions to cut costs and make administration, registration, and enrollment easier and more convenient for parents, students, and staff.

Conclude’s Take

There are typically many documents to complete, sign, and return to a school as part of the enrollment process. These documents typically include: 

  • Parent / Guardian Information
  • Applicant/s information
  • Financial Contract
  • Code of conduct
  • Certified copies of supporting documents (ID’s, birth certificates, photos, proof of residence, bank account details, etc.)

Our research has shown that every school operates differently, but many still rely on risky and poorly secured hard copy or digital forms. Some schools gather some information using some sort of online process (e.g. Google Forms, or a bespoke digital forms-based website)  in an attempt to digitise the process. However, there is no complete solution that runs through the process from beginning to end and is :

  • Easy to use,
  • POPIA Compliant, and
  • Enforces electronic/digital signatures that are fully compliant and admissible in court as per the ECT act.

The Problem with Paper

Have you ever considered how much the paper and printing cost of all the paperwork involved in each year’s new enrollments are cutting into already tight school budgets?  What about the administrative overheads involved in sorting, filing,  securing, and storing all that paper?  

The amount of administration involved in running a school is significant. For one thing, any parent who has ever had to fill in and sign the stacks of paper issued by their child’s school at the beginning of every school year will be able to relate to the tedium and writer’s cramp this produces!  Similarly, as a teacher or administrator, you know how much work is involved in managing the documents and forms schools generate!

Schools are also custodians of a great deal of highly confidential personal information and it is becoming more and more important to properly protect this information, especially in the light of growing information security risks in South Africa and legislation like POPIA.

In short, a paper-heavy administrative process costs money, wastes time, and creates security risks for your school.

Did You Know

Most South African organisations use a Standard Electronic Signature (SES) to apply an electronic signature to documents. 

However, under South Africa’s ECT Act, SES’s are only valid if:

  • The signatory (or document’s sender) is clearly identified,
  • The signature indicates the signatory’s approval of the information contained in the document,
  • The signature is appropriate for the document at the time of signature, and
  • A timestamp is included in the SES

 

Conclusion

The last 2 points are where many solutions, including electronic processes that schools use fall short. But, many are not fully compliant with South African legislation. It is also possible to fake this kind of signature.

Rather ease life and get in touch with Conclude to help you with your e-signing solutions for education.

 

Conclude and Bioo (Education)

Conclude and Bioo

At Conclude we believe in the power of STEAM education to build our country and empower its future leaders.

Because we are a business focused on digital transformation, we want our children and youth to be exposed to exciting developments in science and technology. Therefore, BiooEducation & Conclude have come together. 

To clarify, Bioo is a research & development company that focuses on scientific research for the generation of electricity from nature itself. One of its main goals is to bring nature and technology together to improve the quality of life.

Engineers, biologists, and technologists who work with an international network of companies and leading research centres in the sector make up the team.

For this reason, Bioo has recently partnered with the Conclude team to supply the educational sector with an experimental kit focusing on nature as a renewable energy source.

BiooEducation

Bioo designed BiooEducation for the education sector, based on their technology. As a result, it was created to share the most innovative technology with the next generation of leaders through a new interdisciplinary model for education.

 

For the purpose of bringing together nature and technology with an approach based on sustainability, STEAM fields, and real, practical, applicable learning.

What is it?

A resource for skill-based learning in science and technology. In other words, it ties into subjects from the first to the fourth grade of secondary education.

What do we promote?

  • Fostering vocation in STEAM fields without gender bias.
  • Developing environmental awareness.
  • Encouraging interest in sustainable entrepreneurship.
  • Awakening social responsibility.

Why?

This is because generating electricity from nature is one of the most impactful and innovative ways to motivate students and get them interested in STEAM fields and innovative green technology, through active, reality-based learning

The Pillars of Our Project

  • Sustainability

Firstly, we encourage good habits and accountability for a sustainable planet today and for future generations.

  • Entrepreneurship

Secondly, we promote young entrepreneurship tied to sustainable development and respect for the environment, especially in the STEAM fields.

  • Innovation

Lastly, we incentivize a shift towards new teaching methods that foster active learning and collaboration

Conclusion

At Conclude we believe our future, and the future of our planet resides with the youth. This is why we believe we must help encourage and foster their education with technologies of the future. Bioo provides just that, while ensuring the youth also lean towards sustainable development, not just for their sake, but the sake of the planet and future generations.

Contact us for more info!