Home/What is document digitization? How can you do it?
What is document digitization? How can you do it?
What is document digitization?
In simple terms, document digitization is the process of converting written documents into digital documents. In comparison to paper documents, digital documents are easier to store, manage & protect. Although only
18% businesses worldwide consider themselves paperless, document digitization is becoming increasingly popular among industries that need faster access & 24*7 connectivity to information like banking, medical, education, finance, etc.
Document digitization or going paperless doesn’t mean giving up paper documents altogether, it means minimizing the use of paper documents in favor of digital documents. Eliminating paper from the get-go can adversely affect the functioning of an office. And that’s why it is important to carry out document digitization in phases, to get employees acclimated to the changes of the digital process.
People assume that document digitization is more expensive than paper, which is true until you add the secondary costs associated with paper like filing cabinets, drawers, RFID scanners, stationery, physical damage, loss, etc, which totals 30 times more than the estimated cost of paper. In comparison, document digitization eliminates the need for physical storage & paper-based problems which saves countless dollars every year.
Another important factor for businesses is time. Offices that use paper documents spend a large number of hours managing documents. Document digitization replaces physical cabinets & drawers with folders & online storage, which lets users store, organize, search & share documents at the push of a button.
Reduces errors & misfilings
According to a report by Corpmagazine, it costs an organization $20 to file a document, $120 to find a misplaced document & $220 to replace a lost document. Paper documents are prone to human errors & misfilings, which can amount to thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Document digitization helps eliminate these problems by automating the document processes. For example, digital documents can automatically be sorted into their respective folders or groups based on the metadata extracted from them using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
Better accessibility & connectivity
Businesses that work with paper documents waste more time waiting for document approvals & signatures than any other document process. Document digitisation let’s users access documents from anywhere they want, improving connectivity & accessibility.
Paper documents need secure lockers & cabinets, which need to be surveilled round the clock. Digitizing documents allows businesses to control security & create a user-based access mechanism at every step. It is also easier & less expensive to track the movement of digital documents compared to paper documents
Beneficial for the environment
According to a report by Statista, the United States consumed approximately 73.1 billion tons of paper & paper board products in 2019. 3 out of these 5 paper-based products ended up in landfills. Paper production & disposal are one of the major causes of water pollution across the world. Reducing the use of paper can help improve the condition of water bodies & have long-term positive effects on the environment.
The first step to document digitization is identifying which processes in your organization involve the most amount of physical paperwork. For example, many organizations have a huge stockpile of historical invoices & order receipts. These are some of the most time-consuming document processes in any organization, and are ones that could benefit most from digitization.
Prioritize processes in need of digitization
Once you have identified document processes that produce the most physical documents, you need to segregate the processes based on importance, benefit & cost. Choose the processes that are critical to your digitization process, and categorize them on the basis of cost & benefit to the organization. Narrow your list down to a few processes & discuss the possible changes with your employees.
Evaluate hardware & software needs
Once you have selected the document processes you want to digitize, you need to evaluate the additional hardware & software that will be required to undertake the digitization process. For example, digitizing years worth of business records might need additional scanners that support bulk scanning & OCR based document management system to speed up the digitization process. It is also important to take note of the additional costs associated with the hardware & software required.
Choose storage type & size
Deciding on the type & size of your digital storage is a crucial step to selecting a digital storage system. There are two types of storage options available: on-site & cloud. As the name suggests, on-site storage systems can only be accessed on-site, whereas cloud storage systems can be accessed from anywhere with internet connectivity.
When choosing a storage type it is also important to consider storage size. On-site systems have more expensive storage upgrade options, whereas cloud storage systems are much cheaper to upgrade. Selecting the ideal storage type & size for your business depends on your personal preferences.
Scan & start working
The final step is finding a software that satisfies all your needs & commencing the digitization process. Scan all the documents that need to be digitized, organize them into respective groups & voila, you are set to begin your digital journey.
GLOBODOX document management software has a built-in scanning support that works with all ADF & duplex scanners. GLOBODOX’s virtual scanning feature even enables duplex scanning on scanners that do not support duplex scanning. GLOBODOX provides both single-page & multi-page scanning options.
GLOBODOX’s ‘one-click add’ and ‘drag & drop’ features let you add thousands of scanned documents into GLOBODOX within seconds. Over the past two decades thousands of organizations have used GLOBODOX to digitize their document processes & go paperless.