Born Digital: A Solution for Paperless Initiatives

Born Digital: A Solution for Paperless Initiatives

Many government applications begin on paper that is mailed and scanned into a system. However, using paper forms in a digital age is becoming outdated, slow, and cumbersome. When paper applications are submitted with inaccurate, incomplete, or illegible information, it is impossible to operate and get work done. Some application processes that are ‘paperless’ by name rely on some sort of paper on the front-end. How can we make applications easier, more accurate, and faster?


When one eliminates the use of paper from the beginning of a process, the process is “born digital.” Digital forms facilitate application processes and can handle a large amount of data. At Fairfax Data Systems, we can create both basic electronic forms, requiring no strict format, and strict forms, formatted according to official regulations that can eventually become official documents. These forms can constrain values, verify input by fetching database info, and prepopulate data. They can also be created according to intuitive rules, allowing the form to ask relevant questions based on applicant responses.


David Suess, Fairfax Data Systems’ Chief Architect and CEO, explains how forms, born digital, can transform a process and make it truly paperless from start to finish. A Department of Environmental Protection had a paper application process for underground storage permits. These handwritten applications were often incomplete or filled incorrectly, causing unnecessary delays. By implementing a strict application form, Fairfax Data Systems was able to create a completely paperless process. The new application was integrated with other systems that allowed for company identity and location verification and intuitive questions. After 18 months of use, 95% of these applications were processed and approved within hours without human intervention.


Instead of spending time and effort scanning physical forms into digital, using a born-digital strategy can save time and money while optimizing operating procedures. Fairfax Data Systems offers solutions for secure, efficient paperless initiatives.

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