Table of Contents
- Market Categories and Deployment Types
- Key Criteria Comparison
- GigaOm Radar
- Vendor Insights
- Analyst’s Take
- About Bill Witter
While some pandemic trends have since experienced significant retractions, the e-signature solution space continues to show sustained and accelerated demand across virtually every industry. Document execution processes are a core component of most businesses, and supporting traditional physical processes for high volume use cases is too costly and inefficient to justify them. Businesses are no longer asking if an e-signature solution should be adopted, but instead they are asking which solution to choose as more players enter the market.
E-signature solutions have been available for decades and have matured into a robust domain that is well-prepared to meet increases in market demand. Leaders and challengers continue to invest in more extensive jurisdictional support, enabling direct integration with numerous country-specific eID services. Qualified digital signatures (QES, shown in Figure 1) were once considered an advanced functionality but are now more commonplace, with leading solutions offering five or more integrated trusted service providers (TSPs) in addition to supporting the ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) in the US.
Figure 1. Requirements for Legally Binding Signatures: Simple, Advanced, and Qualified
Similarly, identity authentication methods have expanded as well, with many solutions offering advanced features to verify signees, including video, document verification, and biometric functionality. Aside from documents that are still legally not in scope for electronic execution (for example, wills and court orders), even the most complex international use cases can be supported by multiple vendor offerings.
Beyond core compliance, almost the entire market has started or continued to invest in end-to-end document management software. Commonly referred to as contract lifecycle management (CLM), this investment expands e-signature functionality to other document functions, such as creation, negotiation, and post-execution processing. This represents a shift in how businesses view e-signatures: no longer as a point solution but as part of a broader transformation strategy that aims to drive automation and digitization across all document activities.
As a result, broader platforms have started integrating other workflow capabilities within e-signature products, blurring the line between document management and this solution space. Often e-signatures are the entry point, but quickly become part of a multiple-product package whose components work together within an ecosystem to produce more comprehensive transformation. Feature-focused offerings are investing in similar expansion as well, though they’re more heavily reliant on native functionality paired with expanded third-party integration options. One example is data field configuration, which now commonly enables automated population and extraction into domain systems, thus supporting requirements before and after the e-signature function.
To be a significant player in this space, an e-signature solution must support the core e-signature process (preparation, distribution, execution), and also offer extensive compliance support, scalability for high-volume use cases, and flexibility across a range of countries, languages, and interfaces. Functionality that simply allows a user to draw a signature on a document is not sufficient to be considered in this report. Recent entrants Microsoft and Google are excluded for this reason, but expect them to be more significant alternatives in the near future.
This GigaOm Radar report highlights key e-signature vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating E-Signature Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.