While Business Has Embraced Digital Documents, Issues Persist

While most businesses have embraced the use of digital documents, they have not yet progressed to the point where they can create compelling and effective ones, third-party research from PandaDoc, an all-in-one document workflow automation platform, reveals.

PandaDoc polled more than 1,000 professionals at businesses of varying sizes and industries to assess their pain points in digital document creation and collaboration. Survey respondents recognize digital documents are easier to create, collaborate on and complete than paper versions. They also generate cost savings and offer increased productivity.

Still, close to 93 per cent find business proposals difficult to create, while nearly 92 per cent find it challenging to create HR documents.

“Our survey data demonstrates that while professionals across industries understand the value of going digital, they are frustrated because they feel they need to spend copious amounts of time working on their documents instead of putting their documents to work for them,” said Shawn Herring, PandaDoc VP of Marketing. “Documents remain the essential glue of how business gets done, but many professionals are still stuck in manual legacy processes, or facing challenges in their digital document creation. The data clearly indicates professionals are ready for solutions that foster simple, smooth and integrated interactions for all the stakeholders involved in digital document preparation, distribution and completion.”

A strong majority, 56 per cent, of professionals prefer electronic contracts over paper versions.

Nearly half (46.5 per cent) have digitally signed a legal document or contract, while 37.4 per cent have signed health-related documents, informational contracts (35.1 per cent); employment contracts (34.2 per cent); and sales proposals and quotes (33.1 per cent).

Although professionals prefer digital documents over paper versions, they also acknowledge problems persist. More than a third (35.3 per cent) cite concerns that digital documents are difficult to integrate with other technology and systems of record. Survey respondents are also frustrated with the difficulties encountered when integrating a simple eSignature (28.3 per cent); collaborating (27 per cent) and designing a professional looking document (26.3 per cent).

Survey participants emphasize there are too many document versions to manage and the creation process takes too long. Nearly half (47.5 per cent) of respondents reveal business contracts and proposals take longer to create than expected.

The survey also asked participants about their preferred aesthetic when designing documents. The top three indicated are simple (28.3 per cent), modern (24.9 per cent) and traditional (24.8 per cent). By a solid margin, the font type of choice for document creation is Times New Roman (30.4 per cent), followed by Arial (19.1 per cent) and Calibri (8.8 per cent).

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