CSC – Providing Education, Support, and Guidance in Our Changing Digital WorldBy csc |
From being an abstract concept, to an ever-present topic of discussion, digital transformation has become a reality in our everyday lives. With the realisation that this shift towards a digital workspace will be a constant part of our lives, businesses and private individuals are now both searching for guidance on how to adapt to this new way of working, and are finding that digital signatures have an enormous role to play.
Over the past few months, members of the Cloud Signature Consortium have seen a marked increase in interest in remote digital signatures as businesses seek new ways to operate. Current events have shone a spotlight on pre-existing inefficiencies of business workflows and highlighted the need for digital tools that allow companies to adapt to the remote working environment. But many businesses continue to be hindered in their progress by persistent knowledge gaps around the different types of digital signature available, confusion surrounding their legal impact, and what benefits that this technology can actually provide.
What has also become clear from this influx of requests is that CSC can have a leading role in providing the information and practical and technical support required by businesses as they embrace the accelerating shift towards a digitalised economy. Even if digital signatures were not a priority for many companies before, they are now seeing that remote signing and identification technology has become a vital part of the business landscape. This realisation, that many existing processes and structures need to be re-evaluated, has led many businesses to search for expert assistance and guidance regarding digital transformation, an area in which our Consortium is ideally placed to help.
“As a community of leading businesses in our regions and countries, we have all seen this increase in interest and demand for digital signatures as a proof of concept that they really do add value to organisations. The increasing number of transactions we have seen is a clear indication of this,” says Andrea Valle, President of the CSC. “We should promote this and explain that, if businesses are reluctant to adopt electronic signatures, we must demonstrate that this technology will be essential to all kinds of business moving forward”.
While CSC, and its standards, have a role to play in achieving this, we also recognise that the current business landscape has a diverse range of complex needs. Therefore, one of the main challenges for providers is to make digital signatures easily accessible and to cater to all business audiences, purposes, and the most stringent legal and cybersecurity requirements. The CSC can take the lead in promoting tailor-made services and products to ease clients’ digital transition.
Additionally, CSC members have reported fielding many questions from new and existing customers regarding what digital signatures actually are and how they can help their businesses become more efficient. Most importantly for many companies, understanding the legality of remote electronic signatures is an area where there remains uncertainty for customers despite the strong legal foundation that has been provided by the EU’s eIDAS regulation.
As a global coalition of experts on remote digital signatures, the Consortium has a crucial role in educating customers on the value of adopting digital signatures and explaining the sometimes complex legal frameworks. As part of our response to recent events, these two themes will act as a starting point for the Consortium’s future strategy, projects, and activities in the year ahead.
“The companies that derive the most benefit from deploying e-signature technologies are the ones that take time to understand the different technologies and how they apply to their business. Digital signatures really rely on a good understanding of the legal context in which they are being used, especially if that context is cross-border,” says John Joliffe, Adobe’s strategic development lead for Adobe Document Cloud in Europe. “While organisations can get guidance from several sources, including their in-house counsel, our members have all witnessed an increased need to provide guidance and assistance to companies who are rapidly digitalising their workflows.
CSC members have agreed on the continuing need to educate the market in this area, to reassure users that adopting remote electronic signatures will increase the efficiency of their companies, while also safeguarding the legality of any agreement that is remotely signed.
In addition, supported by our recent partnerships with ETSI and the FIDO alliance, the Consortium will continue to develop in parallel the CSC Specification to facilitate the global interoperability of remote signature solutions.