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News Release

More than 8 in 10 UK Companies Print Documents Just to Get Them Signed

ARX commissioned survey in conjunction with World Paper Free Day held on October 24 2013
Released: 24th October 2013
Publisher: ARX

ARX Inc., the market leader in digital signature solutions, has announced the results of a YouGov survey that it commissioned to investigate British business practices regarding the use of paper, printing and signatures in the workplace. The research showed that despite increasing pressure to ‘go paperless’, the vast majority of UK businesses surveyed still print documents just to get ink-based signatures. The survey is being released on World Paper Free Day (October 24th, 2013) which is being organised by AIIM, the global industry organization for information professionals.

Highlights of the YouGov research results include

  • Over 80 per cent of UK businesses print documents just to get them signed – 84 per cent of documents are printed for the purpose of ”wet” signatures, and 62 per cent print additional copies just for obtaining signatures. The issue of printing documents just to get them signed is even worse for larger organisations - 89 per cent of mid-sized and 83 per cent of large organisations admit to this.
  • Public Sector and Financial Services print the most documents just for obtaining signatures - the issue is greater in some specific market sectors with the worst culprits being the public sector (95 per cent) and financial services (94 per cent) (these figures include respondents who weren’t sure).
  • Almost three quarters of UK businesses who print documents say processes are delayed because of the need to collect signatures – 72 per cent say signatures delay processes with the numbers rising to 77 per cent of mid-sized ones and 83 per cent of large organisations.
  • Almost a third of large organisations who print documents lose more than one day just to collect signatures – 24 per cent of businesses overall lose more than one day per transaction collecting signatures, rising to 31 per cent of large organisations. Worldwide, recent AIIM research found that 65% of enterprises add more than a day to their processes just for this purpose (“Digital Signatures – Making the Business Case”, AIIM Research, Q4 2012).

“Of course there can be other reasons for printing out documents, but this research backs up anecdotal evidence that most businesses still print out documents because ink-based signatures are perceived as more secure and legally compliant. This completely undermines paperless office strategies and reduces return-on-investment on document and content management systems that were designed to automate end-to-end paperless processes,” says ARX’s UK Country Manager Ronan Lavelle. “However, an increasing number of organisations are turning to digital signatures, because they help reduce paper-related costs, improve staff efficiency, significantly shorten the signature collection process, ensure document security, and conform to a draft of internationally-recognised legislation, regulations and audit requirements.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 576 senior managers in small, medium and large sized businesses, split across Public Services, Financial Services, Business Services, Engineering and Manufacturing. The survey was conducted online in England, Scotland and Wales between 20th - 25th September 2013.

About CoSign by ARX
CoSign by ARX, the most widely-used digital signature solution with millions of signers at security-minded businesses, governments and cloud services around the world using it to create efficient signature processes. CoSign was recognized by Forrester Research as the 'Strongest Digital Signature Solution' in the Forrester Wave: E-Signatures, Q2 2013 report. CoSign, which is available both on-premises and in the cloud, can be used on any device to easily and securely sign documents in Word, Excel, PDF, and many other file types. The flexible CoSign digital signature engine can also be seamlessly integrated into any document-related workflow, application or service, while ensuring full compliance with engineering-specific regulations, laws and technical standards.

Further information (external website)


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