The Business Case for Digital Signatures – Rapid Payback and high ROI

Many industries are facing high costs due to increasing industry regulations and escalating fines for non-compliance. From Sarbanes-Oxley to GMP to the FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11, compliance requirements continue to have a high impact on IT controls and policy. As business models evolve to include the Cloud we can expect to see an even higher level of compliance due to increasing business risks. A good example of such risk is Facebook’s lack of policy, controls, and enforcement, which led to the data of 50 million users being harvested for unauthorized commercial use.

“I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated”.
Mark Zuckerberg – CEO Facebook March 21st 2018

Compliance meets IT Solution Governance – The Challenges

SAP is often the core repository for the majority of Business Critical Processes and Data. This means that SAP Solution Governance is key to ensuring effective Compliance. Traditionally these Governance processes and controls have been manual and paper based. This has led to the below challenges:

  • Struggle to meet compliance requirements
  • High levels of manual effort needed to meet IT and Business Audit requirements 
  • Document status and validity confusion leading to inaccurate data and processes
  • Manual workflow for Document Approval lacks control and is inefficient
  • Manual Document Version control and revision leads to inconsistent results
  • High coordination effort and delay in getting multiple sign-offs
  • Inaccurate recording of signatories names and potential for fraud
  • Lack of encryption of final documents leads to potential security risk
  • Cost of paper, document routing and physical archiving
  • Fines for non-compliance

The Business Case for using SAP Solution Manager 7.2

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is SAP’s Application Lifecycle Management suite of processes and tools for managing SAP Solutions. It includes all the tools for Business Process and Document Management which are fully integrated into the Change and Release Management Processes. This includes best practices for Solution Governance and supports Document Management and Digital Signatures. By combing this functionality with SAP’s workflow tool we are able to archive the following benefits:

Document Control
Proof of approval – Digital Signature
Enforces document control
Improves quality of documentation
Secures Documents via cryptographic methods

Maintain strict compliance on content/format
Validated Environment
SOX Compliance
Audit Cost Reduction

Automate Document control
Status management
E-mail notification
Printing and Routing Cost Reduction

Extendable via BADI
ChaRM Approval Process
ECC Business Documents ie Invoices
Multiple Digital Signature Options

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Digital Signature Solution

  • Multiple signatures
  • Separation of duties
  • Mapping of the process structure
  • Document Status Management
  • Document Versioning
  • Document Encryption
  • Workflow
  • E-mail notifications when signatures need to be executed
  • Regulation Compliance

Business Case – Payback in 4-6 months

Digital Signatures not only simplify and speed up workflows that require obtaining signatures, they keep the information secure and help drive compliance along with reducing costs. That’s a big advantage to going fully digital.

As part of adopting any new Solution a business case is required to justify the Implementation Costs. By utilizing your existing SAP Solution Manager Environment you can help reduce the costs of Licenses and Hardware. To help with kickstarting this digital initiative we have built a business case template based on the below Whitepaper.

In 2016 the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) in conjunction with ARX (now DocuSign) produced a whitepaper on the drivers of Digital Signatures and making the business case – AIIM White Paper

The assumptions and instructions in the next few slides are used to help provide guidance for using the Business Case Calculator to estimate the potential ROI for Implementing Digital Signatures based on SAP Solution Manager 7.2.

Once the inputs have been customized for your organizations data they can then be input into the provided PowerPoint Presentation Template for presenting to the business case.

CONCORN has deep expertise in Solution Manager, particularly around BPM and the project side in SolMan. They were able to hit the ground running on day one, knowing exactly what they needed to do and what the pre-requisites were. This helped me greatly as the client to provide the right info to them and support them to perform their deliverables. I would recommend CONCORN to any SAP client.

Cindy Shen

SAP Manager (Center of Excellence, Solution Manager, ALM/QC/Automation/Best Practice), Home Trust Company

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