How to Seize the Moment and Take Your City Digital with E-Signatures

As municipal governments in Canada find new ways to digitize their processes, a key tool in their new workflows is e-signatures. 

E-signatures have been recognized under Canadian law since the mid-1990s, and e-signature solutions have come a long way and now provide important features municipalities absolutely need:

  • Assurance that e-signatures are legal and will stand up in court and are backed by internationally recognized e-signature regulations and standards
  • Robust security protocols to accurately verify signers’ identities
  • Secure data storage in Canada
  • Long-term validation (LTV)
  • Timestamping authority
  • Secure, long-term storage that meets legally mandated document retention requirements

Implementing new technology in a city requires rethinking old processes and systems and cleaning them up. It can be a big change for some city officials, and change can be hard given the number of rules, regulations, and procedures cities have to adhere to. However, in today’s world, people expect paperless processes, on-demand access, immediate responses, and ease of use. To meet the expectations of your staff, residents, and contractors, change is needed. 

Read on to learn how your city can start implementing e-signatures and reap their benefits immediately.

Download The Paperless City and read how a Quebec municipality leveraged eZsign e-signatures to improve their processes, expedite workflows, and provide a modern experience for its residents.

What does going digital mean?

Simply put, digitalization means using digital technology to simplify and enhance business processes. This can mean building out IT infrastructure, moving into the cloud, reducing or eliminating paper record keeping, adopting technology like e-signatures, acquiring new software, and more. All these entail rethinking and redesigning outdated processes, experimenting, and managing change, which are all challenging—but rewarding.

In the context of municipal, provincial, and even federal governments, digitization means using technology to digitize public administration to improve residents’ and employees’ lives. It even has a specific name: GovTech. Cities usually undertake these transformations with the goal of increasing efficiency and reducing cost. 


What do cities with e-signatures look like? 

Cities that leverage technology like e-signatures deliver significant productivity and efficiency gains for both employees and residents. 

Take procurement, for example. When cities have to make purchases, expenses have to be approved by a Procurement Department. Without e-signatures, the process of gathering approvals can take days, even weeks. The improvements supported by e-signatures allow expenses to be approved as quickly as the next day—no more waiting for all parties to sign documents.

Departments spend a lot of time chasing signers and signatures. With eZsign’s smart automations and intuitive dashboard, which include automatic document routing, follow-up messages, and reminders, teams can work more efficiently because they never have to chase a signer again.

The 4 steps of a successful e-signature implementation plan

Thankfully, many cities across Canada have already successfully implemented e-signatures in their day-to-day processes. Here are 4 proven steps to make your city  a smart city thanks to e-signatures. 

Need help adopting paperless processes at your city?

Step 1: Identify your main challenges and goals

To find the right solution, first you have to define the problem. This is easier said than done. What processes are the least efficient, and why? Which process would be easiest to change, and how could technology like e-signatures help? Once you identify an issue, look at it from all angles to identify obstacles and success metrics. Define how implementing e-signatures can help you achieve those metrics. 

Step 2: Build trust early by introducing e-signatures to your immediate team first 

It’s important to create buy-in early on by bringing key stakeholders to the table from the beginning, especially during step 1. Who better to help identify challenges than the staff “in the trenches?”. When people feel heard and like their concerns are being addressed, they will be more open to working together to complete the difficult step of implementing e-signatures and becoming champions of the process..

Step 3: Choose eZsign as your city’s e-signature solution 

A key element for supporting a digitalization strategy across departments is to implement eZsign as the electronic signature solution for your city. 

Going paperless with eZsign e-signatures means automating workflows, reducing unnecessary paperwork, and adopting legal, secure e-signatures verified by a third-party time-stamping authority to prevent fraud and backed by long-term validation, so you can prove signature authenticity for the next century or more. 

Choosing eZsign means partnering with a homegrown, Quebec-based company with a fully bilingual team and top-rated customer service. Not only that, it means putting your trust in robust legal and security features to keep your data secure, your clients confident, and your team happy. Read more in the eZsign Trust Centre

Step 4: Appoint a champion to boost adoption

Change is really hard, and adopting new solutions can meet a lot of resistance. One way to make things easier is to find an internal champion. This person could self-select (it might be a particularly enthusiastic stakeholder who helped pick eZsign) or be chosen by leadership. Either way, staff are likelier to listen to and learn from a colleague who is fully on board, someone they can go to for help and advice. As more people get familiar with and adopt eZsign, success will snowball.

When you implement new technology, you have to think through old processes and systems and clean them up. It can be uncomfortable, since it requires a lot of effort and time. But when you have a new, modern process paired with an e-signature solution, you can really see just how valuable change is.

City of Saint-Eustache

Champion digital change at your city 

Communicate your goals and start small. 

Are you in a leadership role at your city? Lead by example: communicate with your colleagues why digitalization is important for your city and how adopting e-signatures could help you become a smart city. 

Are you a project owner at your city? Inform your team about how current processes and workflows could be improved with e-signatures.

Introduce your new idea by providing concrete examples for specific use cases at your city. Help your team envision how stress-free their work could be with the introduction of e-signatures to their day-to-day work. 

A painless way to go paperless: eZsign e-signatures

The future of cities is smart, and smart, paperless cities use eZsign e-signatures to increase efficiency, lower costs, boost productivity, and make life easier for everyone. Say goodbye to outdated analog processes and hello to streamlined, digital, paperless ones. 

E-signatures are a secure, legal way to sign your documents from anywhere, on any device, empowering your team, saving you money, and letting you work smarter—not harder.

To learn more about e-signatures, download The Paperless City, our digital innovation guide for cities!

Ready to discuss further? Talk to an eZsign digital transformation expert!

Contact us by phone or message today.

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