Here’s how forms software can give your business process the face lift it needs

Chances are, if you're still using a pen and a sheet of paper clipped to a clipboard for handling key business practices in the year 2014, your operations are probably starting to feel a little bit stale by now. If, say, you have your employees showing up to the office and logging their hours worked on paper, you probably feel not far off from being an actual, real-life dinosaur. It's time to change your ways.

There are numerous reasons why now is the time for your business to turn to mobile form software for handling its everyday tasks, but this is perhaps the most important one - because it's time for a face lift. It's time to take the old, engrained way of doing things and replace it with a new strategy that's refreshing, exciting and ultimately more effective. Why keep using that clipboard when you can use a mobile app?

Everyone should feel the impact of this move, inside your office and out. By moving all those paper files to a cloud-based system and accessing them using forms for iPad and other mobile devices, you'll find altogether new levels of efficiency - not to mention just excitement about showing up to the office each day. The mobile approach will change everything. It's the ultimate makeover for your business.

Making all those papers digital

Chances are, if you've been sticking to your old legacy strategies for managing data all these years, you've accumulated quite a stockpile of papers over time. You've got paper accounting documents, paper internal files for HR and so on. When going the digital route and using a mobile strategy for managing data, you know what you've got to do: ditch the papers. A Google news release described this process:

"About a year ago, I started scanning and uploading all the important papers floating around," explained Rebecca Steelman, who works in consumer operations at Google. "It seemed like an obvious solution to three things that drove me crazy - clutter, access and sharing."

All three are important. Why deal with piles and piles of papers lying around your office if you don't need to? Mobile files are easier to organize and manage. Access is also key - you want to be able to look through your work files from anywhere, whether you're at work or home or on the road. As for sharing, we live in era of efficient high-tech collaboration. You want to be able to send anyone any file at any time.

Mobile can do that. It's about moving away from the paper madness and embracing a new approach.

More mobile means greater visibility

The beauty of moving away from paper and into the cloud is increased visibility for your data. You want to be able to share your files with your entire company with just the press of a button. The tricky part, though, is you're trying to strike a balance. You're looking to reconcile your desire for high visibility for your data with your need for security.

According to CloudEntr, it's important to prioritize visibility so as to maximize the productivity of your business.

"Visibility is essential for compliance monitoring, security checks, and evaluating the efficiency of the organization's IT spending," cloud computing expert Macey Morrison stated. "In order to gain this visibility and control, provide a system to manage the external cloud apps and file services being used across the organization securely for employees. Less is more here, too many different systems and you drastically reduce employee efficiency."

This is especially beneficial for larger enterprises. If you're running a big business with a lot of logistical difficulties, using mobile data management strategies can remove one potential roadblock and make it easier to share files and collaborate in a massive scale. This should prove invaluable.

Automating collaboration for everyone's benefit

The beauty of mobile form software lies in its potential to facilitate collaboration. When your data is in the cloud and you're accessing it with mobile, you can collaborate with anyone, whether they're across your desk or across the world from you. Mobile apps can automate this process so that all different parts of a business can work together with ease, according to eWeek.

"A great value of leveraging cloud-based collaboration tools is the ability to mobilize data between users and locations, thus optimizing the way remote teams work with each other," noted cloud expert Darryl Taft. "With a private cloud deployment model, administrative and security measures are in control of the business to help ensure that all web, VOIP and video conferencing data is transmitted over encrypted connections, end-to-end."

Collaboration within a business has always been possible, even remotely. But who wants to waste their time reading to people over the phone off of paper forms? With mobile forms in the cloud, your business can instantly become sleeker and more efficient. It's a face lift and an operational overhaul, all in one.

Cal Brown