The Shift Toward Paperless Permitting: 8 Reasons Why Local Governments are Transitioning to the CloudSeptember 7, 2021
In the era of a global pandemic, there have been drastic changes in the usual way of doing things. Applications and processes used to be paper-based, which was considered as the norm, pre-pandemic. Local governments had to transition its processes digitally, go paperless and use digital tools to create an efficient and organized digital space.
Transitioning systems and processes to the cloud provides overall improved efficiency, security, safety, transparency and comfort, especially now that people are becoming more accustomed to going online for various local government services, including applying for building permits.
Here are 8 reasons why local governments are opting to transition to the cloud:
1. Optimized and Safer Customer Experience
The digitalization of the permit application process is the most ideal and sustainable option to still continue offering the service while ensuring public safety. With the use of digital tools to develop these processes and services, transitioning to the cloud not only makes it safer for every person involved in the process, but also optimizes the whole journey and makes it more accessible and efficient.
2. Reduce Cost and Save Space
Storing physical documents takes up physical space and effort to organize the space aptly. There are costs to lease the space the physical documents take up in storage as well. Moving these important application documents to a cloud-based storage system not only saves physical space but also reduces the cost of maintaining and managing that space.
3. Increase Efficiency and Ensure Consistency
Going paperless and transitioning processes online eliminates the major pain point of endless back-and-forth communication in paper-based application processes. The time saved can then be invested into better customer service and more efficient workflow. Having a cloud-based system in place also ensures consistency in all steps of the process with the ease and transparency of communication and storage of important documents.
4. Reduce Paper Use
By going paperless, many sectors around the world are striving to reduce paper forms and processes to support an environmental imperative. Statistics show that the U.S. federal government currently spends $440 million per year on paper printing and that one-third of all paper forms were never actually used. Transitioning the processing of these forms online will not only benefit constituents but the environment as well.
5. Improve Access To Data
Centralizing data storage and organization to the cloud makes it more accessible to those who need to access it at any time. By eliminating paper-based and on-premise systems, errors and inconsistencies caused by physical and manual search of documents can also be prevented. This makes communication and access to information more systematic and straightforward
6. Easier Streamlined Communication
Paperless permitting helps streamline communication processes by moving all communication online, eliminating the back-and-forth communication between all parties involved and preventing loss of important information along the way. Transitioning all communication to a cloud-based system removes the stress of searching for information over multiple threads (phone, email, in-person, etc.) and brings it all into one place.
7. Increased Data Security
Paper-based permitting processes are subject to many environmental and human factors that can negatively impact its storage and security. By going paperless, important information is ensured to be securely stored in the cloud, protected by a password, without the worry of losing critical data due to environmental disaster or human error. Having it constantly backed-up also protects data loss due to computer crashes or losing network connectivity.
8. More Transparent Collaboration
Transparency is ensured with a paperless permitting system because applicants can submit complete permit applications and check permit status online. Everyone involved in a permit application from the applicants, to the contractors, the inspectors, and building department authorities can come together in a collaborative and communicative space where all documents and requirements are centralized and accessible. By transitioning processes to a digital space, governments can become more efficient and transparent in successfully processing permits.
Cloudpermit empowers local governments with simple and online development processes. It takes users from application to approval and encourages collaboration among government staff, applicants, homeowners, builders, designers, third-party agencies, and all those involved in each permit. The software was created for, and with, North American local governments to help communities thrive.