The 2014 World Cup is picking up steam, and the attention of the world (or at least the sports world) is on Brazil. Though I’m admittedly not a huge soccer fan, it’s hard not to get caught up in the hype. Since our office has a slight case of World Cup fever, I’ve started to draw some comparisons of this year’s event to the digital signature business. Here are the top three lessons the 2014 World Cup can teach businesses about adopting digital signatures.
In the months leading up to the World Cup, the news was filled with headlines about how unprepared Brazil was to host the huge event. From a stadium that was unfinished just hours before the opening game to overcrowded public transportation, it’s safe to say that Brazil wasn’t ready for the big responsibility it was taking on.
This is the spectator bridge from subway to Sao Paulo stadium. Would you walk on that with thousands of people? pic.twitter.com/A3qYyDdRk7— World Cup Problems (@WorIdCupProbs) June 12, 2014
Relevance to adopting digital signatures: Before your business even picks a digital signature vendor, it’s important to be fully prepared for success. A few things to keep in mind include:
- Carefully research vendors: This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people rush into picking a digital signature vendor without fully vetting multiple options. Digitally signed documents hold a lot of serious legal implications, and you should be sure the vendor you choose will protect the security and legality of your documents. Choosing wrong at this stage of the game could lead to legal battles in the future. For more information, check out our article 3 Critical Questions to Ask Before Picking an E-Signature Vendor.
- You get what you pay for—watch out for free: There are quite a few options available when it comes to digital signatures, but only a select few will meet the security needs of the average business. Be wary of companies that offer their services for free. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to carefully investigate vendors and their signature technology prior to implementation. Free doesn’t mean trustworthy.
- Get your team on board: Adopting digital signatures doesn’t just affect one department in a company—it can impact everyone on the team. That’s why it’s important to get your team on board at the beginning stages of your project. Be sure to tell other people in your organization about this technology, its benefits and the applications relevant to their job. Implementation should involve people from across the business, from your IT team to your legal department. After all, a successful pilot in one department could easily translate to success in another department.
Winning Takes Time—Be Patient
The 203 teams in FIFA’s six confederations competed in matches to determine whether they could be one of the 32 teams to compete in the World Cup. Qualifications for the 2014 World Cup started way back in 2011 and ran the course of 820 matches! Teams that wanted to take home the trophy had a lot of work to do before they could even make the line up.
Relevance to adopting digital signatures: It’s easy to get excited about the possibilities of digital signatures and expect to see full adoption off the bat. In reality, it takes time for members of your team to become comfortable with using new technology.
It’s important to focus on the small wins to help get your digital signature project off the ground. While it probably won’t take your business three years to reach full adoption—like it took for teams to qualify for the World Cup—it’s important to be realistic about your goals.
We recommend that you start with one simple process at first. For instance, the County of San Diego began the digital signature integration on just one form—the change of address form. They only process about 5,000 change of address forms each year, making that a smart place to start applying digital signature technology. After they perfected that process, they expanded their project to include up to 100,000 documents each year.
Be Loud and Proud
The World Cup is a great opportunity for nations across the globe to show their national pride. From national advertising campaigns to viewing parties at local bars, World Cup fever is everywhere. It’s great to see each nation showcasing and celebrating what makes them unique.
Relevance to adopting digital signatures: Once you’ve refined your digital signature process, it’s time for self-promotion! After all, adopting digital signatures doesn’t just benefit you and your employees—your clients and partners will love signing documents online too.
Self-promotion can come in many forms. Here are a few great ways to promote your new service:
- Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are all great places to promote your use of digital signatures. In addition to promoting your company’s use of this new technology, you can also offer links to informative articles about digital signatures (like the ones on our blog).
- Newsletter: Do you have a newsletter that goes out to your employees, clients or partners? Why not include a short article about digital signatures and how they’re changing your business?
- Videos:You don’t have to create your own videos to tell people about digital signatures—there are many informational videos on SIGNiX’s YouTube channel. You can embed these videos onto your website to help educate clients and partners about digital signatures:
Whether you’ll be glued to the TV all week or only seeing World Cup coverage through your Facebook feed, don’t forget to take a minute to see how the World Cup and digital signature worlds collide. Do you see any other digital signature lessons from the World Cup? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.