Global trends and the impact of digitisation on the organisation

The world is facing significant economic changes, with reduced growth rates, aging populations, the risk of stagnation, declining consumer spending and rising unemployment only being a few of the problems we are experiencing.

Against this background, organisations are now presented with the risk of disruptive technologies – technologies that are opposing their traditional operating models and offering a new way of doing business, while trying to extract further growth from their companies.

The world is digitising at a rapid rate, but it’s being consumer driven through the application economy. Unfortunately, traditional business and particularly government, is being slow in adopting some of the opportunities new technologies present.

There are now significant forces driving efficiency and productivity that organisations can no longer afford to ignore. The graph below represents a view on expected global growth, its impact on employment and that organisations need to be more efficient to survive.

graph

Digitizing manual processes combined with automation and improved access to data will be one of the major drivers in achieving the productivity rate organisations need to stay competitive. Business and Government need to apply their minds as to how these technologies will impact their organisations.

Smart contracts, data automation and digital profile solutions are what Realyst and our technology partners focus on. We specialise in automating the Contract Management process, and can help your business become part of the Digital Age. Contact us today to find out more.

Contact Realyst today to see how we can help you improve your contract management and quote-to-cash cycle so you can focus on tasks that will bring your company success, while knowing you are saving your company money and your clients time.

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Digitisation and E-Signatures: A New Age

There have been many articles written and many discussions had over the upcoming Digital Revolution and its effects on business – particularly with regards to digitizing processes and efficiency. The Second Machine Age by Eric Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee discusses these concepts in depth and gives interesting insights into our digital futures.

One aspect of this change that concerns us all is how it affects the law – what constitutes a contract in this new Digital Age? What forms of communication and acceptance of terms indicates a valid and binding agreement? How does this affect how various regulations are tested by case law?

In the first case of its kind in South Africa, the Supreme Court of Appeal held that emails sent between two parties relating to a contract where both parties signed their names at the end were sufficient to cancel a contract, that had the provision for cancellation only in writing and signed by both parties .

The case stated that “The question is whether the method of signature fulfils the function of identifying the signatory, rather than to assist on the form of signature to be used”. This indicates that a physical handwritten signature is no longer a requirement; an electronic version is equally valid.

This has a large impact on the introduction of electronic signatures into business. There are currently 3 different ways that e-signatures are being used commercially:

  1. The Click Wrap. An example of this is when a user ticks the “Accept Terms and Conditions” box when making a transaction online. Generally, the user is identified as the signatory using the details used to log into the site.
  2. Electronic Signatures. When a user physically signs using a stylus or their finger on a digital medium such as a tablet, or a signature pad. This new case law would indicate that this form of a signature would not be required for a binding contract.
  3. Any form that requires a formal authentication process as described in the ECTA.

This affects the digitisation of the contracting process. The way is now open for technology to seamlessly put two parties together so that they can contract electronically – transactions can now be paperless with relative ease. The information would be available digitally for the organisation and end-users to view and manage. This confirms the concepts that any process that is highly repetitive, should be digitised.

Many organisations have been slow to take up electronic signatures and digitisation, claiming that the legal barriers and risks of dispute are too high. This case should break down those barriers and prove that it’s time to embrace our new age: The Digital Revolution.

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References:

Please view the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002
No. 25 of 2002, http://www.internet.org.za/ect_act.html#INTERPRETATION_OBJECTS_AND_APPLICATION, CHAPTER III, FACILITATING ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS Part 1, Point 13.