The term “Digital Transformation” is an expression that one hears repeated everywhere, in the most diverse fields and contexts. It’s also practically a slogan without any operational meaning.
On the contrary, any business is and must be the realm of operability. So, the digital revolution must always translate into concrete process improvement, simplification, savings, expansion of opportunities, and a real change of mentality within the company, at all levels. To put it another way: “digital transformation” must become “digital maturity“.
And a basic, very concrete and indispensable step in this maturity is Digital Transaction Management (DTM) systems.
DTM is a very diverse category of services built to manage document-based transactions digitally, and viacloud computing.
The field is indeed vast, as you can imagine: From electronic transactions to the transfer of documents (inside or outside the company); from certifications, authentications, and dematerialized archiving; from electronic signatures, to the legal aspects of “non-repudiation“, to co-browsing between company and client…and much more.
In answer to the question, “what documents can I digitize thanks to DTM solutions?”, the answer is very straightforward: “potentially all of them“.
In this post, however, we decided to isolate 3 specific areas that we feel are central to the day-to-day functioning of a company and its operational flows, and which cover as wide a scope as possible. We are referring to document archiving, authentication, and electronic signatures, and finally, to everything related to internal document flows within HR departments.
Let’s say it right away: these are three decisive sides that have many points of overlap and integration (a term that we must always keep in mind when we talk about digitization!).
Before we dissect these three points, however, let’s quickly review the benefits and Digital Transaction Management offers. That’s what we’ll do in the next section.
The benefits of Digital Transaction Management offers
There are numerous benefits and opportunities that result from the broader implementation of DTM systems. Let’s gather them around a few main points:
1. Cost savings: thanks to a reduction in printing, mailing, archiving, and certification costs (and related personnel employed).
2. Time savings: an intuitive aspect when it comes to switching from analog to digital. Just think of the difference, for example, between sending and signing a contract via mail and doing it digitally, remotely, instead. Attention: time savings are not only for the company and its employees, but also for the customer, and this is crucial when it comes to reputation, customer experience, and loyalty.
3. Increased security: with the DTM, risks related to the storage of physical documents, to loss or damage during transfers, to manipulation, and data leakage or loss in general, are lowered. Everything always remains perfectly traceable, retrievable, and verifiable, quickly and intuitively. Of course, this is true when the infrastructure is cloud-based.
4. Flexibility and scalability: two features that derive directly from the Cloud Computing architecture on which DTM systems are always built. These features are essential for overcoming the challenges of today’s ecosystem, which is so fluid and accelerated, and where it’s critical to avoid hiccups and bottlenecks.
5. Integration with CRM and CCM systems: this is absolutely central. A paperless company is a company that is more efficient, reduces waste, optimizes costs, operates faster, and makes its internal processes smarter. But most importantly, it’s a company that is able to offer its customers the best Customer Experience.
How important are DTM solutions in this regard? The results of a Forrester commissioned research tells us:
- 32% of people who abandoned closing contracts, agreements, and transactions did so because they were discouraged by paper and manual procedures (source: docusign.co.uk).
Let’s close this section with another figure that demonstrates the growing importance of DTM systems in all production ecosystems:
- in 2021, the global Digital Transaction Management market was valued at $8.04 billion. From 2022 to 2030, it’s expected to grow annually by 25.5% (CAGR), on average (source: grandviewresearch.com).
As promised, we’ll address the three sides we mentioned, starting with the topic of document archiving.
1. Dematerialized document archiving
The starting point for a paperless enterprise can only be a digital archiving system. Without this foundation, the rest of the architecture cannot stand. Beware, however: dematerialization is a concept that goes beyond simple document digitization.
Through dematerialization processes, paper documents can be completely eliminated, as digital counterparts take on full legal and evidentiary value. We’re talking about a difference with a delicate and very important legal value. What are the advantages of the dematerialized document over the analog document? There are many.
Again, it’s a matter of efficiency and savings in time and money. Then there is an important aspect related to ease of search, not only related to the whole document, but also to parts of it (assuming the process of moving to the dematerialized document has been conducted as well as possible). Then think of everything related to sharing, immediacy, multi-channel, and transparency.
In short, it’s a whole series of very obvious and intuitable advantages. However, we want to focus on a less immediate aspect, but one that is perhaps the most decisive.
A dematerialized archive turns into a mine of invaluable data. Data that, as is often said, is a modern company’s real asset. Here, in fact, information about the functioning of internal processes and, above all, on relations with suppliers and customers, remains stored and always readily available.
Having this information, knowing how to interpret it automatically and intelligently, and making decisions from this knowledge is the secret to increasing efficiency and continuously improving relations with one’s customers.
2. Authentications and digital signatures
Identification and authentications are the prerequisite for everything related to digital document management.
This is where security, compliance with current regulations, and everything related to compliance, in general, come into play with great importance. And here emerges the importance of relying on specialized companies for managing these areas in order to reduce any kind of risk, while at the same time optimizing the efficiency of the systems put in place. But let’s tighten the circle around one of the most widespread and indispensable tools: the electronic signature.
It is the Digital Administration Code that regulates the different types of electronic signatures, which are as follows:
- the Simple Electronic Signature (SES);
- the Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) according to the relevant technical rules under Title V Articles 55-61 of the Prime Minister’s Decree of February 22, 2013;
- the signature with the SPID secure digital identity according to the relevant AgID Guidelines;
- the digital signature or qualified electronic signature;
- the signature notarized in the presence of a notary public or public official pursuant to Article 25 of the CAD.
Let’s not get lost in excessive technicalities. However, there is one aspect we would like to emphasize: if you rely on e-signature services such as the one offered by Doxee, one of the most obvious advantages is the possibility of integration with other Digital Transaction Management solutions.
Doxee’s e-signature service, in fact, is easily integrated with other products such as electronic invoicing, standard digital storage, but also with CRM and CCM systems.
In short, it’s not just about compliance with legal requirements; it’s about building a complete digital onboarding process that combines regulatory compliance with a high-level customer and user experience.
3. Internal processes and HR departments
Here we come to the last side related to Digital Transaction Management solutions that we feel it is essential to isolate. After dematerialized archiving and the related authentication for digital signatures, we want to focus on internal document flows within the company.
In this field, the primary goal for an efficient and contemporary company is to no longer print labor contracts, in all their different and multiple forms, on paper: from hiring, to the management of the relationship, to its termination. But that’s not all: there is also the whole bureaucratic side involving requests for vacation, leave, injuries, illnesses, expense reimbursements, and so on. We’re talking about a very complex and delicate matter, where risks may be lurking, including criminal ones, unforeseen contingencies, but also – potentially – huge losses of time.
Fortunately, dematerialized and professional management of these internal flows greatly mitigates these risks, and, at the same time, drastically reduces the time spent on these activities.
A dematerialized document must, however, guarantee certain unavoidable requirements:
- allow the certain identification of the provenance and authorship of the document itself;
- ensure immodifiability and integrity;
- uniquely link a specific manifestation of will in relation to a document to the person who expressed that will through a computer procedure (referred to as the signer or signature holder);
- enable the signer’s adherence to the content of the document with which the signature is associated ( here again the indispensable tool of the electronic signature returns).
In short: obligations, regulations, and sensitive procedures must be followed very carefully in order to avoid any problem. Digital Transaction Management solutions help manage all of this in the most secure, agile, and transparent way.
However, let’s emphasize it again: along with all these obligations also come opportunities to be seized. These opportunities include savings (of time and money), increased efficiency, and improved relations of the company with employees, collaborators, and customers.
Doxee’s Paperless Experience products, which meet the needs of dematerialization of processes in tax and documents related to Italian and European compliance are built on this foundation and they are the best allies to bring your company to full digital maturity.