Electronic forms or e-forms are the electronic versions of paper forms but with added benefits. E-forms have the potential to improve the efficiency of a system significantly as compared to conventional paper forms. Paper forms are not only more time consuming and error prone, but also cost more than e-forms due to the additional handling and storage costs. E-forms are more convenient as they can be accessed from anywhere, from practically any device that supports the Internet, and require no manual handling or storage costs. E-forms enable users to interact with enterprise applications and the back-end systems linked to them. Another major advantage of e-forms over conventional paper forms are, they are eco-friendly, as they do not produce any paper waste. For these reasons e-forms are preferred over paper forms. According to a study published by IBM, more than 80% of the processes in private and public businesses depend on e-forms. New e-form applications include XML content identification, multiple data callouts, field-level validation, and embedded process logic contained within a secure format that is often portable.
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The major factor driving the e-forms market is rising rate of Internet usage and high demand for paperless operations in offices and institutes. In addition, e-government and e-commerce solutions and web applications have created the demand for better web forms that support richer and more dynamic interactions. Other factors driving the growth of this market include rising demand of on-the-move information, rising numbers of e-devices that can be used to access e-forms, rising compatibility of the e-forms with a large number of devices such as smartphones, laptops, smart TVs, and other smart wearable devices. Also, the consumer acceptance of digital content has a notable effect on the growth of this market. The major restraint for the e-forms market is the complexity that is involved in creation of these forms, which includes must-have knowledge of Java Script, HTML, XML, etc. Apart from this, web servers are required for e-forms to be stored, which is quite expensive.
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The e-forms market has been segmented on the basis of two broad categories: type and application. In terms of type the e-forms market has been further divided into static, editable, fillable, validating, smart, and connected. Out of these the connected type is expected to lead the market in the forecast period. The connected type e-forms are interactive and intelligent as they provide programming and connectivity capabilities at the same time. The next most popular type is smart type. It has the same features as the connected type except it is not connected to the Internet. On the basis of application, the e-forms market has been classified into government, education, commercial, healthcare, and hospitality.
Regional segmentation for the global dynamic case management includes North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. North America accounted for the largest share of the e-forms market, followed by Europe in 2015. Both these regions are expected to retain their positions in the next five years due to high focus on innovations obtained from research and development and technology. The Asia Pacific region is about to witness major growth in this market mainly due to the increasing technological adoption and wider demand among organizations to manage consistent data.
Major products available for the e-forms market are Adobe LiveCycle, Adobe Acrobat, IBM Lotus Forms, MS InfoPath Form Services, MS InfoPath Client. The major players include Adobe Systems, Microsoft Corporation, IBM, Cisco Systems, Autonomy Cardiff, PerfectForms, Formatta, and LincDoc
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