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PandaDoc

PandaDoc is an all-in-one tool to create, edit, send, track, and eSign documents quickly and easily. Discover a better way to generate professional-looking and error-free proposals, quotes, and contracts with PandaDoc. Win more de...Read more about PandaDoc

Jotform

FrontRunners 2024

Jotform is a cloud-based form automation solution that enables users to publish online forms and record customer responses. It helps users to generate leads, collect order payments, conduct customer surveys, manage job application...Read more about Jotform

TrackVia

You know how some companies struggle to get work done as efficiently as they should or could because of internal bottlenecks, bad data and lack of real-time coordination between back-office and front-line employees? Well, TrackVia...Read more about TrackVia

Forms On Fire

FrontRunners 2024

Forms On Fire is a mobile app for capturing and dispatching mobile forms such as inspections, audits, safety reports, orders, and many other tasks. Designed for businesses in construction, agriculture, field service management, fo...Read more about Forms On Fire

Jotform Sign

Jotform is a cloud-based form automation solution that enables users to publish online forms and record customer responses. It helps users to generate leads, collect order payments, conduct customer surveys, manage job application...Read more about Jotform Sign

Formstack Suite

With Formstack, automate manual processes, deliver solutions quicker, and go from idea to workflow in minutes and save hours—all with clicks, not code. Combining a visual workflow automation builder with digital forms, document ge...Read more about Formstack Suite

3.0 (1 reviews)

Formstack Forms

Formstack Forms is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses automate processes of creating digital forms and collecting data for surveys, leads, registrations, and more. Key features include data routing, file uploads, data en...Read more about Formstack Forms

Submittable

Submittable powers you with tools to launch, manage, measure, and grow your social impact programs, locally and globally. From employee giving, volunteering, and corporate social responsibility programs to grants, awards and schol...Read more about Submittable

No reviews yet

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is an online workspace for small, medium, and large businesses. It features over 35 cross-integrated tools, including CRM, tasks, Kanban board, Gantt chart, messenger, video calls, file storage, workflow automation, and m...Read more about Bitrix24

DocOrigin

DocOrigin is a document generation solution that is reliable, fast, space-efficient, cost-effective, enterprise-class, multinational, highly customizable, and one that has impeccable customer support. DocOrigin was designed to int...Read more about DocOrigin

UpKeep

UpKeep is an Asset Operations Management solution that helps businesses scale by giving every Maintenance and Reliability team the tools and information they need to run Operations efficiently and effectively. From your desktop to...Read more about UpKeep

Pipefy

Pipefy is the AI-enhanced process automation platform that conserves IT resources and empowers business teams to build and deploy up to 85% of workflows — no coding knowledge or third-party specialized services firms required. St...Read more about Pipefy

Caspio

Caspio is a cloud-based, no-code, application development solution for organizations of all sizes. The platform is suitable for industries such as health care, media, government, education, nonprofits, consulting, churches and com...Read more about Caspio

FSM Lite

FSM Lite is a forms based task management solution that enables you to effectively manage your data, create and share forms, schedule, assign and track tasks and more. With FSM Lite, you can step into the cutting-edge world of adv...Read more about FSM Lite

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Typeform

FrontRunners 2024

Typeform is an interactive data collection tool that lets you create forms, surveys, and quizzes that people enjoy answering. By asking questions one at a time, you get more thoughtful responses and higher completion rates. Plus, ...Read more about Typeform

monday.com

monday.com is an award-winning work and project management platform that helps teams of all sizes plan, prioritize, manage, and execute their work more effectively. The platform offers solutions for a wide range of use-cases such...Read more about monday.com

FormsCenter

FormsCenter is an online electronic data capture and forms automation software. It helps small to large businesses across industries gather, store, retrieve, track and centralize information from customers, employees, and external...Read more about FormsCenter

4.4 (5 reviews)

Zoho Forms

Zoho Forms is a data collection tool. It allows businesses to create forms at one place and publish them at multiple platforms. Its features include creation, design, publish, notify, integrate and analyze. These features help in ...Read more about Zoho Forms

ProjectTeam.com

ProjectTeam is a cloud-based construction project management solution that caters to businesses in the construction industry. Key features include requests for information (RFIs), drawing management, action forms, file management ...Read more about ProjectTeam.com

EddyCore

The user interface of Eddy's software is sophisticated and simple to use without the need for any training. Because your company shouldn't have to fit into a mould, it is more configurable than any of its rivals. Each stage of th...Read more about EddyCore

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

When was the last time you heard someone say they love doing paperwork? Chances are you never have. For most employees, filling out forms is an annoying, if necessary, part of their workflow.

With forms automation software, businesses can cut down on the amount of time staff spends on paperwork while improving the way they record, track and store important data.

In this guide, we’ll provide the information you need to choose the right forms automation system for your team, such as:

What Is Form Automation?

Common Functionality of Forms Automation Software

Forms Automation Software Benefits

Deployment Options

Market Trends to Understand

What Is Form Automation?

Think of form automation as the creation of digital versions of your paper forms, including:

  • Applications

  • Surveys

  • Contracts

  • Work orders

  • Internal company records (e.g., financial reports)

  • Client-facing documents (e.g., invoices)

When forms are automated, there’s no need to write anything by hand—just open or create the form you need on a computer or mobile device and have it filled out electronically.

Your electronic forms can be designed to resemble the physical ones you already use, but the computerized versions usually require less work and time. Software vendors offer the tools to do this and much more.

Forms automation software provides you with the platform to create, manage, access, complete and authorize forms without using paper.

When entire companies (rather than individuals or small groups) employ a forms management system, it’s called “enterprise forms automation.” Forms automation software vendors cater to every business size. We’ll cover deployment options later in this guide.

Common Functionality of Forms Automation Software

Vendors offer a variety of functional breadth and depth in their solutions, especially the ones that cater to particular industries, such as health care, construction or field service.

Specialty-specific features aside, we’ve compiled this list of the most common capabilities in forms automation software:

Form design and creation

Many vendors allow you to simply send scanned versions of your existing paper forms, and they convert them into digital ones. Or, design your own forms from scratch using a variety of templates, layouts and tools (e.g., drop-down menus, check boxes and radio buttons).

Form storage

Software programs keep templates and completed forms in a centralized location, allowing users to categorize and easily retrieve documents.

Autofill

Set up forms to prefill certain fields with default values. Automatically populating sections in this way makes forms easier to complete.

Digital signature

Customers, clients or supervisors can sign forms electronically through the software. This is especially valuable for documents that require validation, review or approval.

Offline access

Many cloud-based solutions remain functional in offline settings. Remote teams can submit automated forms through the program and the forms update on their own once internet access is regained.

User permissions

Business administrators can set user roles and permissions to ensure only authorized parties within their companies have access to particular forms.

Forms Automation Software Benefits

Here are some of the ways form automation solutions can help businesses with their paperwork processes:

Top Benefits of Forms Automation Software

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Deployment Options

Forms automation software can be deployed in several different ways. Before you begin evaluating vendors, you'll have to choose between the following options:

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Click here for detailed definitions of these terms

  • Best-of-breed vs. integrated suite: If you’re strictly looking for forms automation capabilities, this will be an easy decision: best-of-breed solutions will give you exactly what you’re looking for with no excess functionalities. However, some businesses, such as marketing companies or retailers, may benefit from purchasing software that offers forms automation in addition to other useful applications in one total package. A content management software suite, for example, includes forms automation, plus e-commerce, social networking and content publishing applications.

  • Perpetual license vs. subscription license: Would you rather pay an upfront lump sum for your software or make periodic payments over time? It’s important to note that most subscription license software vendors have tiered pricing depending on the number of users; more users typically means higher monthly or annual fees.

  • Cloud-based vs. on-premise: Since most cloud-based products allow you to update forms when you’re offline, you shouldn’t let concerns about remote access factor into this decision. However, be aware that some vendors charge fees for additional storage on the cloud.

As you begin evaluating products, you’ll notice that most cloud-based deployments require a subscription license regardless of whether they’re best-of-breed or integrated suite solutions. The one you choose will ultimately depend on your budget, needs and expected number of users.

Market Trends to Understand

As you begin the process of software comparison and evaluation, there are some emerging market trends in the field of forms automation that you should consider before making your final selection. These trends will help you understand recent developments in the field of forms automation and guide you in selecting the ideal system for your business.

Technology that enables rich content will be built into forms. Modern forms automation solutions are being developed with rich content, such as interactive content, animations and more to improve the overall user experience and decrease the chances of abandonment. Also, the rise of digital media in customers’ personal devices, such as modern input methods and new cameras, is the driving factor behind the creation of more rich content in forms.

Use of mobile forms increases. Mobile forms previously allowed only simple workflows such as approvals, but they are now expanding to encompass more critical tasks and complex forms, making them useful for field operations, real estate, field sales and insurance businesses.

Cloud-based solutions to be the priority. Forms automation software offerings are mostly cloud-based, so form data can be stored completely in the cloud.

Adoption among health care providers rises. Currently, health care providers, such as hospitals, clinics and ambulatory facilities, are continuously dealing with rising financial pressures that may directly affect the delivery of quality care among patients. So, providers are looking for innovative solutions, such as forms automation systems, to improve their overall revenue. In addition, advanced forms automation solutions are enabling hospitals to cut operating costs and optimize their revenue cycles. These solutions also ensure data integrity across the health care provider’s administrative, financial and clinical systems.