From PDFs to Process Innovation: Understanding and Implementing eForms 

By ImageSource Team on June 4, 2024

Electronic forms (eForms) bring the benefits of fillable PDFs into the modern digital age – improving on a first-step technology by using automation to capture information directly from the form into the business processes that need it. They enable smoother experiences and faster submissions on the user side, and hands-free, streamlined processing for knowledge workers and organizations.  

Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of eForms and address three of the most common concerns we hear from customer-partners considering them. 

Image shows a busy cubicle office with workers at computers.

How eForms Take Digital Information to the Next Level 

Years ago, fillable PDFs were the cutting edge of information intake. For end users, they removed the barriers of needing a fax machine or stamp to submit a paper form. On the intake side, they lessened the labor burden of office workers to interpret and hand-key handwritten information into systems. They resolved the inevitable errors related to interpreting an individual’s penmanship.   

While they were initially a step forward from paper forms, their limitations are more apparent today. Fillable PDFs are cumbersome for mobile-first users and require additional steps to submit supporting documentation. Users often leverage diverse browser extensions and non-native PDF tools to patch together text editing, filling out forms, and singing them. On the back end, workers must still work through each field to manually cut and paste information into line-of-business applications. 

Unlike fillable PDFs, eForms are responsive, making them universally accessible on any device – an important digital equity factor for users without broadband Internet. Users can save in-progress forms to finish later and attach supplemental files along with their submissions. Overall, they lessen the friction between organizations and customers, leading to better experiences and higher user satisfaction. 

Automated eForms natively integrate into workflows and business processes. An eForm can route information directly to designated roles within your organization or through processes. That data can then drive decisions and be used in reporting. Information that automatically goes where needed at intake saves time and money by eliminating user errors and accelerating business processes.  

Addressing Common Concerns around eForms 

  1. Security:

    One of the main questions we hear about eForms is whether they pose a security risk to user information. Organizations worry about data breaches, hacking, and unauthorized access – all valid concerns! The key to trust begins with the selection of a project partner. The business or agency must do its due diligence in ensuring that a technology partner meets modern security standards. Don’t be afraid to ask about security certifications and the nuts and bolts of how the eForm solution ensures the safety of your users’ data. Your provider should have a robust arsenal of security measures such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, regular security audits, and compliance with industry standards like GDPR or HIPAA.  
  2. Data Integrity

    Another concern we often hear is related to eForms and data integrity, including the danger of data manipulation or corruption. The solution here is to employ digital signatures and audit trails to track any changes made to the electronic forms. Ensure that the eForm has features for validating data input and preventing unauthorized alterations. Regular backups also help safeguard against data loss. 
  3. Return on Investment

    Customer-partners sometimes question the value of implementing eForms for established business processes not initially set up for them. It’s important to consider not just how your processes function today but also how they align with your organization’s strategic roadmap overall. Modern business processes cannot exist in silos; they have multiple moving parts and implications for downstream processes. Incorporating workflow-enabled eForms lays the foundation for fully integrated operations. Your investment will return to you through improved innovation-readiness and higher efficiency.

Why Choose ILINX eForms? 

Today, eForm solutions come in a wide range of options from DIY to full-service design and support – each with different functionality, integrations and business outcomes. ILINX eForms leverages the ILINX platform’s capture and intelligent workflow capabilities to strike the right balance between easy implementation and powerful extensibility. Organizations with in-house technical teams can use ILINX to easily create and deploy branded eForms solutions in minutes using ILINX eForms’ simple drag-and-drop designer tools. For those needing a more supported implementation, ImageSource, the manufacturer of ILINX, offers a professional services team with decades of experience in creating, deploying, and integrating eForms into business systems – creating a powerful data ecosystem for organizations while making processes easy for end users.  

Take your organization beyond data collection into a truly connected, process-driving information ecosystem. It all begins with accessible, intelligent ILINX eForm innovation. 

ImageSource works with customer-partners to ensure they have the resources to break through process challenges using ILINX, the world’s most-flexible process improvement platform. Are you ready to explore the possibilities of ILINX eForms? Let’s collaborate


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