Adobe and GSA Partner to Make Government Agencies More Efficient, Secure and Compliant
New Adobe government-wide data security and electronic signature software acquisition agreement supports FITARA, Category Management and multiple information security and electronic government initiatives.
Posted by Matt Schrader, Director, Government Relations & Public Policy
In 2000, when President Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN Act), the intent was not just to make the acceptance of electronic signatures legal but to promote the use of e-signatures to make legal and government transactions more efficient and widely accepted.
In recent years we have seen growth in the use of e signatures as the use of technology itself has grown. When President Clinton signed the bill in 2000, I don’t suspect he could yet envision smartphones and tablets as a primary means of communication for businesses and individuals alike, but it is precisely the growth of these communication tools that makes the use of e-signatures today an area of growing importance.
Likewise, the growth of technology has made security of our transactions and communications paramount. In government, the protection of high value assets – sensitive, classified and personally identifiable information – is a critical need in light of growing cyber security issues.
In December 2016 the General Services Administration (GSA), recognizing the need for the expanded use of e-signatures and greater document security, worked with Adobe to make these technologies available to government agencies in a more efficient and cost effective way. Leveraging the tools provided to the executive branch by the passage of FITARA and the MEGABYTE Act, GSA and Adobe now offer agencies e-signature and digital rights management (DRM) via a modification to Carahsoft’s Adobe GSA Schedule 70.
What does this mean for federal agencies?
1. Less paper. Better collaboration.
Too many transactions with and by government begin on paper, often by printing, filling out, signing and mailing in a paper form. The result is obviously inefficient but yet it is a process repeated hundreds of times a day by government agencies. With Adobe’s cloud-based e-signature technology (Adobe Sign), paper processes will be replaced with fully automated workflows, greatly increasing the efficiency of day-to-day operations and providing agencies with improved tracking and transparency, allowing agencies to focus on delivering an improved customer experience.
Paper documents can take weeks to coordinate approvals and submit. Adobe’s e-signature technology can bring that down to minutes, making it easier to work between partners and suppliers. Who benefits most from transitioning to electronic signatures? CFOs, CIOs, procurement and acquisition officers, Human Resources and, most importantly, citizens.
2. Data Protection for High Value Assets and Sensitive Information
Government continues to struggle to secure “high value assets” despite the fallout from the OPM data breach and the previous administration’s enhanced cybersecurity efforts through the Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP), the Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) and the long-awaited revision of OMB Circular A-130, Managing Information as a Strategic Resource. Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a data-centric security solution that supports Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) to enforce granular access to sensitive content, matching the right information to the right person and their need to know. As content leaves the repository, AEM enables DRM for electronic documents. This additional layer of protection allows organizations the ability to persistently and dynamically protect secure high-value assets independent of storage or transport.
With DRM, users can track and audit the trail of sensitive information, thus better preventing inappropriate document sharing. Document rules can also be dynamically changed, inside or outside the agency firewall, across any device.
3. Expanded, cost effective access to market-leading technology
With this new agreement, government agencies now have access to best in class Adobe solutions for electronic signature (Adobe Sign) and document security (AEM DRM) with tiered volume discounts that leverage the buying power of the federal government.
These solutions – Adobe’s e-signature and DRM software – are now available to all federal, state, local and tribal government agencies eligible to order from the GSA IT Schedule 70 program.
Access Adobe’s IT Schedule 70 here on the Acquisition Gateway.
Deliver Better Results and an Improved Customer Experience
With this agreement, government agencies will move into the 21st Century, boosting operational efficiencies and workflow tracking, better securing sensitive documents, meeting strict policy requirements, helping transform legacy systems, and reducing contract duplication.
“[The agreement] will help federal agencies protect high value assets, while also supporting faster transition to an electronic government,” said Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, Office of Information Technology Category.
“We applaud Adobe’s willingness to work with GSA to make this opportunity a reality. This new negotiated offer will realize the government significant savings over previous pricing.”
To learn more about Adobe’s solutions for government organizations, click here.
For more information on the Adobe-GSA agreement and to see further compliance details, see the GSA press release.