The market size and vendor landscape
In our previous blog we discussed the trends shaping the e-Signing landscape, highlighting the widespread uptake in adoption. Building on this, we explore the e-Signing market, outlining its size and key players, before presenting the main segments of vendors by capabilities. We also share our recommendations on the key first steps to be taken when looking to equip your organisation with e-Signing capability.
In this section of the blog we consider vendors offering full e-signing capability (including on-premise and Cloud-based), putting aside providers such as PKI providers or identity brokers.
In 2020 estimates of the size of the global e-Signing market reached between USD 2.3 and USD 2.8 billion, depending on the source . The global COVID-19 pandemic and its profound impact on ways of doing business has accelerated adoption of e-Signing, making the market one of the fastest-growing in the world.
The market is projected to grow further into a USD 4.5-5 billion market by 2023 and over USD 14 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate ranging between 28% and 30% across the period, based on different reports4. Asia-Pacific and Europe are anticipated to be the fastest-growing regions globally by 2026, closing the gaps with the levels of adoption currently observed in North America where supportive regulation has driven strong use across industries. Industry-wise, the advent of highly secure solutions and adapting regulation should drive adoption across most sectors of the Financial Services industry, which is expected to be the fastest-growing industry over the 2023-2026 period.
Global market shares
Today the market is heavily dominated by DocuSign, with an estimated 75% market share. Established in the early 2000s, DocuSign was among the first companies to specialise in electronic signature solutions. DocuSign was able to capitalise on its established brand to capture the acceleration of demand in the last five years, achieving revenue growth of over 30% annually.
Market share proxy, provided by Datanyze, is based on data from a large set of websites using e-Signing technology (does not include on-premise deployments).
The rest of the market (estimated 25%) is shared between long-established technology companies which have developed an e-Signing capability (e.g. Adobe, Citrix) and more recent pure players founded in the 2010s (e.g. SignNow, PandaDoc), seeking to capture a share of the market.
The landscape of vendors in the e-Signing market can be complex at first view, with hundreds of wide-ranging offerings available. Some vendors focus on providing Public Key Infrastracture (PKI) and trust services, such as signing certificates. Others offer more comprehensive solutions, including digital identities, signing capabilities, and validation services. Similarly, while some offerings are more directed at enterprise implementations, others target end users (customers and citizens).
In earlier blogs we presented five building blocks as essential to implementing a complete e-Signing capability. While in practice the landscape is more layered and complex, we can divide it into three essential offerings. At the forefront are: (1) the end-to-end e-Signing solutions; (2) Digital Identity Providers and Brokers; and (3) Trust Service Providers providing the necessary supporting capabilities to log in and to sign.
1. e-Signing solutions
Across most organisations these solutions will be the only ones used by end-users for their day-to-day e-Signing needs. They feature the vendors most commonly associated with e-Signing. At their core these solutions offer ready-to-use capabilities to sign, validate, and share documents, supported by a basic workflow. With the objective of facilitating end-to-end processes, many vendors now offer functionalities well beyond pure e-Signature processing. This typically includes advanced workflow management, identity verification or document management functionalities, supporting the broader contract lifecycle requirements. Increasingly e-Signing solutions also offer very strong integration capabilities, with numerous specialist business applications, such as dedicated contract lifecycle management and enterprise content management.
When choosing the right e-Signing solution for your organisation, the functional coverage and integration capabilities described above will be important elements to consider. In addition, vendors in this category also distinguish themselves through the types of signatures and other trust services (e.g. timestamp, e-seals) provided, and their targeted user scope (e.g. enterprise versus individual). Some solutions are available as on-premise solutions, while more and more solutions are now offered as Software-as-a-Service. A wide range of vendors is available, including DocuSign, Connective, AdobeSign, OneSpan Sign, Signhost, SigningHub, and many more.
2. Digital identity providers and brokers
As we have seen in a previous blog, being able to identify and authenticate the user is necessary before providing an electronic signature. Digital identity providers and brokers provide these services for a wide array of solutions from e-Signing to client onboarding or user authentication, for example. In the case of e-Signing, the level of trust in the identification will have a direct impact on the type of e-Signature available to organisations, such as an Advanced or Qualified e-Signature. For instance, enterprise identity schemes can, in most cases, support the use of Advanced e-Signature within an organisation. The federation of trusted e-Identities (e-ID) provided by brokers is often preferred for Qualified e-Signatures which can be trusted by parties outside the organisation (such as suppliers and customers).
Vendors in this category can be eIDAS-notified national e-IDs (such as the Italian SPID or Danish NemID) or private e-ID schemes (such as the Belgian Itsme or Nordic BankID). Some of these vendors also offer their own e-Signing capabilities (e.g. Itsme or Estonian e-ID). Choosing which identities to support for your organisation will depend on requirements for the types of signature, geographical coverage, and ease of use. Today, while most e-Signing solutions natively support a range of European identification schemes, e-ID brokers will be very interesting to digital organisations seeking a single point of integration for their digital identity needs across geographies and solutions.
3. Trust Service Providers
Another supporting component of e-Signing solutions are the certificates which authenticate the identity of users, devices, or services. As an alternative to implementing a private PKI to issue these certificates, more vendors are offering PKI-as-a-Service. In order to provide qualified trust services, TSPs need to be approved by a supervisory governmental body and adhere to strict guidelines. In the EU, TSPs with the authority to provide trust services are listed on the EU Trusted List Browser.
Choosing a TSP depends on your organisation’s needs for type of trust service, assurance level, geography, and the public or private use of trust services (i.e. within an organisation or broader). While available directly to organisations, TSP certification services are commonly used through ready-to-use integrations provided as part of e-Signing solutions. Vendors include Globalsign, Digicert, HydrantID, or even AWS (for private managed PKIs).
From our experience in supporting organisations to select, design and implement e-Signing solutions, we recommend starting with these first steps:
In this blog we laid out the e-Signing vendor landscape, its key players, and main differentiators by segment, and shared our recommendations on how to get started in the vendor selection process. We at Deloitte have recognised expertise across the market and experience with a wide array of e-Signing providers. If you would like to know more, please reach out to our key contacts below.