Document Imaging via Scanning is the Most Common Way to Move Paper Documents to Electronic Workflow
Document imaging via scanning transforms the status of paper documents in a business. The scanning process converts the contents of the paper document into an electronic image first. With character recognition technologies such as OCR (optical character recognition) and ICR (intelligent character recognition), the text content on the document image is made machine-readable.
An indexing program then indexes the machine-readable documents to make the digital documents searchable using specific words. It’s at this stage that the paper document gets converted into true electronic content.
What’s So Great About Electronic Content?
Electronic content is…
- Retrievable in seconds from among millions of documents in the enterprise content repository. This can speed up business processes and reduce costs of litigation.
- Distributable over a network to many persons making it easier to collaborate on business processes.
- Accessible from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection if the content is Web-enabled. Managing global operations is far more effective with such worldwide access to information.
- More secure from intrusive eyes and hands by restricting access through access rights, permissions and passwords.
- Safe from damage caused by humidity and other physical factors, and can be made safe from corruption and hacking through such measures as regular backups and use of firewalls.
Reduction of Costs
Moving content from paper to the electronic system can also lead to significant reduction in the costs of document management.
For example, storage of the documents is a key function of document management software. In a paper-based system, storage requires large numbers of filing cabinets, expensive space to accommodate the ever-increasing number of cabinets, an army of filing clerks to sort, file, retrieve, and return the huge volume of documents being generated everyday.
Where a reliable document-imaging system scans and moves the content into electronic media, much of the paper can be shredded once finished with. This would save on the cabinets, filing-room space, and filing-clerk salaries.
Distributed Content Capture
An enterprise-scale business typically generates content all across its geographically-separated offices. If this content remains on paper, accessing it from offices other than the originating one can be a cumbersome process.
Previously, a typical solution was photocopying the document and mailing or faxing it to the offices that need it. This solution is vulnerable to all the problems of a paper-based document management system, such as expensive storage, greater chances of loss and damage, breach of security and confidentiality, and so on.
On the other hand, if the paper documents are scanned at the points of origin and sent to a central content repository, it becomes available to all the enterprise offices. The document would be listed whenever authorized persons in any of the offices make a relevant query.
Decision-making becomes more informed all across the enterprise as a result.
Document imaging via scanning converts paper-based content into an electronic form. Electronic content has overwhelming advantages compared to paper content, speeding up business processes, reducing costs, enhancing security and safety, and making it easier to manage global scale business operations.