The State of Utah Uses Adobe Acrobat Sign to Accelerate Telework During Crisis

Utah is known for its rugged natural beauty, treasured by residents and attracting millions of tourists every year. The state government takes pride in protecting these lands and preserving a great quality of life for its residents.

In 2019, Spencer J. Cox, Lieutenant Governor of Utah, introduced eSign as part of the New Workplace Teleworking Initiative, which utilizes Adobe Acrobat Sign. Telework was primarily designed as a government efficiency program. Enabling more employees to work remotely would decrease carbon emissions, save on building space, and distribute jobs across the state.

State of Utah officials couldn’t have possibly foreseen how urgent this telework capability would become. While the State had contingency plans in place for natural disasters, no one could have predicted for Utah to be simultaneously struck by a 5.7 earthquake and the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State of Utah employees were ready, willing, and able

With dual disasters, multiple areas of Utah residents’ lives were impacted – home, business, health, and finance. Fortunately, the dedicated employees working for the State of Utah had digital solutions in place, enabling them to continue vital services, even while impacted and sheltering-in-place themselves. Almost immediately, residents were able to access these much-needed government services.

The response was so positive among the first teams who used Adobe solutions for teleworking, the State of Utah created an eSign video to spread the word and inspire more teams across the state to adopt Adobe Acrobat Sign. With a goal of launching a swift and strong emergency response effort, the video talks about the value of going 100% paperless and how easy it is to handle high volumes of contracts and other approval processes in a teleworking environment.

Facilitating emergency response efforts

By design, most government planning processes and services require input and sign-offs from multiple parties, including Incident Action Plans for emergency response. During normal circumstances, government teams huddle around a conference room table or walk down the hallway to circulate documents for revision and approval.

Normally, it takes two to three days to circulate and approve an emergency procurement plan. Using Adobe Acrobat Sign, they accomplished the same result in minutes. Even when in-office operations resume, employees expect the paperless process to continue.

Streamlining cross-departmental communication

As the agencies within the State of Utah started seeing a large volume of new requests for services, many of them embraced a new way of electronically processing paperwork. They quickly expanded their use of Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Acrobat Sign to circulate and approve hundreds of procurement agreements, operational plans, grants, budgets and other contracts. This flexible framework made it easier to customize and coordinate facilitation between finance, operations, logistics, and planning through to final sign-off of each plan.

The State of Utah saw a dramatic increase in eSigning in March and April. SOURCE: Utah Department of Technology Services.

Embracing the transition to telework

Like government employees around the world, State of Utah employees were concerned about keeping track of all the communications and continuing to serve their constituents from a work-at-home environment, filled with new distractions. State of Utah employees needed clear and easy-to-follow workflows.

Thanks to Adobe Acrobat Sign, employees can see who needs to review and approve each document, providing accountability and clarity throughout the process. Documents don’t get lost in the inbox or fall through the cracks among departments. As a result, employees deliver better, timely services for state residents.

Residents get answers in hours instead of days or weeks. The State of Utah also made self-service documents available to the public.

Creating a new normal for government resiliency

Not only has eSign enabled the State of Utah to nimbly respond in this emergency situation, it has also placed them in a better position to ensure efficiency and business continuity in the long term.

The telework initiative was designed to reduce government spending and improve efficiencies, but quickly evolved to a must-have service as unexpected events made it impossible to do business-as-usual. So far, it has been a resounding success, providing benefits beyond the original scope of the plan. And, by rapidly adapting to the new telework processes, Utah has once again proven that their spirit, resourcefulness, and grit are as rugged as their landscape.

The State of Utah enabled over 2,500 users in a 30-day period while accelerating turnaround time on more than 5,000 documents. SOURCE: Utah Department of Technology Services.

Adobe’s commitment – helping government with rapid response

Adobe is committed to helping government agencies rise to the challenge of urgent events, stay productive, and serve constituents from any location. We encourage you to read about the Adobe Document Cloud Rapid Response Program to see how we’re helping agencies address a wide range of challenges, including remote work.

Visit our learning resource hub: Respond to urgent challenges with step-by-step use case recipes and curated learning content to get up and running with Adobe Acrobat Sign in days, not months. Visit resource hub.

Register for our upcoming telework webinars: Telework strategies for government continuity.

Contact us: or 800-872-3623.