PDFs are nonetheless used everywhere in the world.

But it surely would not come with out challenges. In an period with growing cyberattacks and threats to companies, it’s extra necessary than ever to make your contracts digital.

On this weblog, we’ll check out among the essential disadvantages of PDFs, however first let’s talk about what precisely a PDF is.

Not like different doc codecs that will show in another way relying on the software program or machine, PDFs keep their authentic format and design, making them a typical alternative for sharing paperwork throughout various environments.

Initially developed within the early Nineteen Nineties, PDFs have change into the norm in contract administration, from enterprise reviews and tutorial papers to authorized contracts and authorities types.

The format’s recognition comes from its means to seize textual content, photos, graphics, and anything on any web page right into a single file, making certain consistency in look whatever the software program or working system utilized by the receiver.

PDFs generally provide choices for encryption and might even provide password safety, offering a point of safety for delicate data. This characteristic has made PDFs seem notably helpful when doc integrity and confidentiality are important, comparable to in authorized proceedings or delicate company communications.

PDFs can help some primary options for doc navigation and interplay. Customers can simply navigate via pages, seek for particular content material, and annotate paperwork with feedback or highlights utilizing their machine’s search and discover capabilities.

PDFs also can incorporate interactive components like hyperlinks, buttons, and kind fields, permitting for extra dynamic and interesting content material. These capabilities make PDFs appropriate for numerous functions, from creating interactive shows to distributing digital types.

4 key disadvantages of PDFs

PDFs have advanced into a flexible and broadly adopted format for sharing and preserving digital paperwork. However they don’t seem to be with out their disadvantages, so let’s go into extra element about a couple of key ones.

1. PDFs could be the reason for cyberattacks

PDFs can fall sufferer to cyber threats, with malware or viruses embedded inside seemingly odd information. This could trigger a danger to a number of gadgets inside your tech ecosystem, as viruses can unfold rapidly. 

PDFs also can incessantly function bait for phishing assaults, the place attackers create realistic-looking paperwork that persuade customers at hand over confidential data or open dangerous hyperlinks. These phishing PDFs are normally properly disguised, so it may be arduous to detect a a phishing PDF from a traditional one.

2. PDF metadata issues

PDFs can inadvertently expose metadata. If revisions have been made to the PDF — normally in terms of contracts — made by a number of individuals, then that may nonetheless be seen within the metadata when a PDF is distributed.

Metadata issues might result in an elevated danger of phishing assaults. If metadata just isn’t correctly encrypted, elements of it could doubtlessly be used to hint the server the place delicate buyer knowledge and private data is saved. This leads properly to the subsequent level.

3. Potential for knowledge breaches

One of many key disadvantages of PDFs is that they go away scope for knowledge breaches.

Consider it this manner. Most PDFs — be a contract or one other kind of doc — can’t be secured or encrypted. Which means anybody who comes throughout it could learn it. Usually, this might be innocent. Nevertheless, somebody with extra malicious intentions might use your PDF to glean extremely confidential data.

Equally, have been your doc administration system to be breached, the hackers might bulk obtain your entire PDF contracts — and all paperwork — in moments. The outcomes could be catastrophic for your enterprise.

Many Britons properly keep in mind the Folks’s Power knowledge breach of 2020. Folks’s Power, a sustainable power provider primarily based in Scotland, noticed all of its 270,000 prospects’ private data stolen in a single single obtain throughout a cyber assault. The ensuing injury to its popularity was huge, as have been the authorized implications. The victims of the assault noticed their private data freely posted on-line.

It is a worst-case state of affairs, however PDFs go away your enterprise extra susceptible to assaults of this kind and on this scale.

4. Revisions can result in lengthy threads

Each time you make a revision, you’ll be able to’t replace the ultimate PDF. This implies it’s a must to generate a very new PDF and ship it to the receiver another time. This could result in seemingly infinite e-mail threads and leaves loads of house for human error. 

For instance, suppose an older model of a PDF contract is signed. In that case, it could result in confusion because the phrases won’t match what was agreed upon following negotiations and revisions.

However this isn’t the one instance of the disadvantages of PDFs in terms of signing your contracts. With attainable revisions, the passing of the contract between signees, and the truth that emails could be misplaced and forgotten in cluttered inboxes, it could take a very long time to get a PDF contract signed.

This could decelerate your pipeline and, consequently, your ARR, resulting in a backlog in your gross sales staff as they attempt to navigate an ever-increasing variety of offers on the cusp of closed-won.

For instance, if a prospect takes some time to signal and return a contract, it might properly get misplaced in a salesman’s inbox. This might result in an embarrassing second for them as they ask for a standing replace, solely to get “I’ve signed it and despatched it again” because the reply.

In any case, PDFs, like paper contracts, solely result in much more scope for human error.

The way to overcome the disadvantages of PDFs in your enterprise

We talked in regards to the quite a few disadvantages of PDFs, however there are methods through which companies can curb the potential challenges.

Rent a contract admin worker

It’s comprehensible why some companies want to stay with PDFs.

Maybe your buyer base prefers extra conventional signing strategies. Maybe you largely work in or promote to international locations the place digital contracts and digital signatures are much less widespread. Regardless of the purpose, some companies are compelled to stay with conventional PDF contracts. 

Nevertheless, there’s a option to clear among the backlog issues they’ll create: rent an worker who works solely, or largely, with contract admin work. Moderately than leaving it as much as particular person salespeople or somebody from HR or authorized to kind via a mountain of paper or information, you’ll be able to have a contract admin specialist whose major focus is to handle these points.

Such workers can arrange workflows and submitting programs that guarantee your contracts are correctly categorized, updated, and as safe as could be when utilizing PDF-level encryption. 

Though hiring an worker to deal with contract admin work would represent an additional enterprise expense, should you merely have to make use of PDFs, then that is unavoidable.

Put money into contract administration software program

When you can, make the swap to a neater, extra advantageous method of managing your contracts. It’d sound simpler stated than performed, however the influence and financial savings for your enterprise could be enormous, each in financial phrases and by way of the enhance to your ARR it could present.

On this part, we’ll check out only a few of the the reason why.

Your entire paperwork in a single place

Gone are the times of getting to go looking folders or drives for one particular contract or model of a contract. As a substitute, they’ll all be in a single place, as long as the contract administration software program in query comes with an archive characteristic in-built.

Earlier than a contract is archived, you’ll be able to categorize it. Also referred to as including tags, a characteristic comparable to this implies that you may make a contract retrievable primarily based on the place it’s within the cycle, which ICP the signee falls into, when the contract was signed, who the salesperson accountable was, and a lot extra.

When archived, contracts could be simply retrieved in only a few clicks. Higher nonetheless, some archive options mean you can put restrictions on entry in place. Which means solely particularly chosen customers and admins can entry both particular person contracts or the archive as a complete.

As soon as that is in place, you’ve added an additional layer of safety to your contracts, overcoming one of many essential disadvantages of PDFs.

Automated contract administration system

Typically, a number of stakeholders might want to signal a contract, and generally, one might want to signal earlier than the subsequent one can. With PDF contracts, it isn’t attainable to manage this course of, which might imply delays in terms of signing and even needing to ship your contract out a number of instances.

Thankfully, contract administration software program can assist right here, too. Some options include a characteristic that permits you to set a signing order in your contract. In different phrases, you’ll be able to set the contract in order that till the primary signatory has signed, the second can not.

The very best half is that some options have options permitting you to arrange automated e-mail sequences. These sequences imply that these within the signing order are notified when it’s their flip to signal.

Which means you want by no means chase signatories once more. It additionally implies that your gross sales staff spends much less time chasing signatures and extra time doing what they do greatest — promote.

Superior contract safety programs

As we’ve got already mentioned right here, PDFs can pose a risk to the safety of your enterprise — no matter whether or not there’s a knowledge breach or the contract or doc is inadvertently despatched to the incorrect recipient.

Some contract administration options include particular security measures that solely permit your contacts to be accessed by their meant recipients. Talking from a Swedish perspective, some instruments solely mean you can entry the contract upon getting signed in utilizing an app known as BankID. BankID is a extremely safe identification app that makes use of codes and facial recognition to confirm that you’re who you say you’re.

With security measures comparable to these, you’ll be able to make certain that your entire metadata, your buyer’s private data, and any non-public knowledge that could be included in your contracts is as protected as could be.

Some European suppliers home their knowledge inside the EU, which implies that it’s secured to among the highest requirements on this planet.

Contract administration integrations

Integrations in contract administration software program can assist you overcome one other key drawback of PDFs: your gross sales staff doing double the work.

Every time a PDF contract is signed, your CRM must be manually up to date with all the key particulars of the contract. A duplicate of the contract might also need to be manually uploaded. 

Some contract administration options include a two-way sync characteristic. A two-way sync removes the very notion of double work, as, in some circumstances, you’ll be able to create, ship, and get your contracts signed and your CRM up to date, all with out having to depart stated CRM.

As soon as the proper integrations are in place, will probably be simpler than ever in your gross sales staff to considerably cut back their admin work, enhance their pipeline, and enhance your enterprise’s ARR.

Modifying and amending a contract made straightforward

One recurring drawback that we hear repeatedly from our new prospects right here at Oneflow is that they discover the static nature of PDFs to be a burden, not solely by way of creating e-mail threads but additionally by way of discovering important data or figuring out the place to make edits.

That is one other drawback that contract administration software program can assist to resolve. An growing variety of software program firms depend on HTML code to assemble and help contracts in the course of the creation course of.

As such, which means HTML contracts are dynamic, simply editable, and could be created utilizing pre-made blocks and templates. With the proper contract administration software program, enhancing and amending a contract could be as straightforward as enhancing or updating an online web page in your CRM.

Even simply these few benefits make for a incredible ROI on contract administration software program for your enterprise, all whereas overcoming among the key drawbacks of PDFs.

Prepare for an easier, smoother signing expertise

On this article, we explored a number of key disadvantages of PDFs and the way they’ll pose a problem to your enterprise. 

Nevertheless, it’s now clear that contract administration software program not solely makes for an amazing ROI but additionally helps you overcome the ensemble of challenges PDFs can create. Many platforms provide a free trial as normal. So, why not attempt it as we speak?

Uncover the intricacies of varied contract varieties and learn to choose the proper one in your wants.

Edited by Jigmee Bhutia

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours