• Michael Weeding

What Makes an Organisation Truly Digital?

In the past month I have read a number of articles in which senior executives make the statement that they are leading “Digital Organisations”. They seem to define this by their push towards the execution of consumer services focused around Mobile, Tablet and the Internet. If the adoption of common digital platforms to support customer usage or engage in eCommerce is all that is required to become a Digital Organisation then I do not think there would not be too many organisations that could not use this tag. This then poses the question, when can a business leader truly claim the tag of leading a Digital Organisation?

One digital service that should be a basic requirement of the digital organisation is the use of digital signatures. In Australia, United States & Europe there appears to be no legal reason that would prohibit the use of this technology with Laws passed over a decade ago recognising the legitimacy of electronic signatures. So why has the adoption of digital signatures been slow when the benefit for utilising this technology is very impressive with improvements in speed, security and cost saves?

A digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or document. A digital signature (not to be confused with a digital certificate) can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of a document, and possibly to ensure that the original content of the message or document that has been sent is unchanged.

One documented reason as to why digital signatures have not been widely adopted is the complexity of the process with many software solutions requiring a number of steps to execute. Although this appears to be changing, Google has recently staked some cash on the market for digital signatures with a venture capital investment in DocuSign. DocuSign offers a service that allows anyone to drag and drop their signatures on documents to make them legally binding. The service works with native iPad, iPhone and Android apps and can also be used with Microsoft’s Outlook email client and it has been reported that there are over 60,000 new users signing up to this service every day.

One requirement of a true Digital Organisation would have to be their ability to execute every element of their business utilising digital technology, not just provide consumer services across the common platforms. While this is just one small requirement there are many more examples that would mean that the tag of a Digital Organisation could only be claimed by a very small number of business leaders. I would be interested to hear your thoughts as to what you think are important requirements of a Digital Organisation?


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