The ecosystem that eIDAS needs

The European Commission has worked hard to bring eIDAS to life. And yet, they realize that enabling broad adoption of digital signatures in Europe will take more than just a regulation. To be successful, they need a complete ecosystem of solutions, technology, and trust service providers that are fully aligned in support of eIDAS requirements. The Consortium’s leadership in developing this standard demonstrates critical industry commitment to the success of digital transformation in Europe as a single digital market.

Digital signatures use Public Key cryptography, which relies on three types of providers to deliver the required technologies and services: solution, technology, and service providers. Solution providers deliver signature platforms and document solutions. Technology providers deliver essential components like authentication technologies, mobile apps, and hardware security modules (HSMs). Service providers act as certificate, registration, or timestamp authorities and assist with compliance validation. Without a standard, all of these providers are required to build their own proprietary interfaces and protocols. Doing so, creates a dizzying array of compatibility questions and deployment limitations.

For digital signatures to gain wide acceptance in the marketplace, users need to be able to initiate – and participate in – signing processes across a broad range of experiences, e.g. productivity applications like Adobe Acrobat Reader and Office applications, and enterprise applications like Salesforce, Workday, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or Ariba. They also need to be able engage through desktop, web, or mobile devices. A cloud-based digital signature standard ensures that providers across the industry can create consistent, interoperable experiences across the full range of user applications and devices.