How document digitization helps businesses?
Document digitization is the process of converting information previously printed on paper into a digital format. In this format, information is organized, stored, repurposed, managed and extracted accordingly as per required. This process empowers a team to quickly access information, generate insights, and take action. Moving from words on a page into an online resource will make business processes more efficient to increase productivity and value. We briefly explore some advantages of how document digitization helps businesses in depth.
Document digitization is the first step towards digitization. As a business grows from a startup to an established business, the volume of documents in paper format grows exponentially. Did you know that it takes a little above 12 minutes for an employee to find a paper document that they are looking for?
“The pain of paper is real”
Coordinated business systems adds, “Optics aside, paper can be frustrating. Take a few examples:
Do you ever need to access information remotely? Salespeople visiting clients, remote employees, or you have a great idea on a Saturday and you’d like to immediately work on it – can your information be accessed in any of these situations? How long does it take you to answer customer questions? Have you ever lost or misplaced a critical document? Did you lose business because of that? Spent a weekend recreating the lost information?”
These are just some thought evoking questions and scenarios that require document digitization and the use of a document management system(DMS) to counteract. Businesses have to future proof their operations. While some paper storage may always be necessary, document digitization is inevitable—and invaluable
What is a Document Management System (DMS)?
A DMS is a system used to receive, track, manage and store documents and reduce paper. Most are capable of keeping a record of the various versions created and modified by different users. In the case of the management of digital documents, such systems are based on computer programs.
Benefits of document digitization and a document management system (DMS)
Cost and time efficiency
Scanned documents can be accessed and used with just a few clicks of a mouse button. Documents are immediately retrieved by the person using the software, who is searching for the information in the event of document digitization. It saves a lot of time and effort that can go into something more productive. You no longer need to search through heaps of paper files, nor do you need a dedicated warehouse for storing papers.
Improved collaboration and customer service
Digital transformation of organisations which are geographically dispersed allows transparent sharing of cross-organisational information. Digitized documents can be stored to the cloud allowing easier access and collaboration possibilities transcending physical borders and boundaries. Documentation can also be indexed with accurate metadata, making it easier and faster to search, track and manage information. The same documents can be accessed by many people (with relevant access rights) and multiple departments simultaneously on-site and remotely. This immensely improves collaboration.
Digital files can be safely stored or backed up in remote servers that have high-security protocols in place. One can audit trails and track who accesses documents and permissions can prevent access to folders or individual documents.
Automated retention tracking
When files like medical records are digitized DMS systems can often be configured to track their legal retention periods. By helping to ensure no information can slip through the cracks, these automated retention tracking systems help to simplify managing record retention and to avoid any non-compliance penalties or fines. Some paper documents need to be stored for several years to maintain compliance with state and government regulations. However, the majority of business documents and legacy records can be digitized.
Embracing this transformation can help you remain competitive and meet the needs of your customers.
Digitization enables more transparent governance arrangements for all activities within an organisation. This is possible because digitization allows organisations to have:
Earthquakes, fire, flood and other destructive epidemics or pandemics (Co-vid 19) can cause unprecedented disaster for your paper documents. This can seriously affect your business. Using document imaging offers you a safe repository for your data, which can be shared on your cloud or your local document management system. With a disaster recovery system in place, you can recover documents with a simple click.
Minimize storage space
You no longer need to maintain separate office space for storing documents. Expenses related to storing paper files can be eliminated. Drowning in a sea of paperwork? Are filing cabinets taking up valuable real estate in your office? Because you’ll have fewer physical files, you can store the few necessary ones in dedicated storage at the office
Reduce paper waste
As all documents get scanned, paper wastage is drastically eliminated. This discourages deforestation and saves money. Costs incurred on buying papers for printing and shredders for proper paper disposal would be reduced significantly.
Document scanning vs Document digitization
Document scanning and digitizing are often considered to the same, but contrary to popular belief they are two separate processes for converting a paper document to a digital copy. Document Scanning or document imaging refers to the process of scanning paper documents and converting them to electronic documents, capturing important information and saving the document in a central repository for easy retrieval later. Digitization, however, is a further process that converts the data from these documents into information that can be processed. What truly separates the two is their usability: while both create digital documents, only digitizing can create editable versions.
Conclusion on how document digitization helps businesses
The above highlights briefly how document digitization helps businesses. Businesses ultimately need to include digitization as a key operational strategy. They must consider disruptive technologies that may affect their value chain and develop contingencies to react to them or determine if they should lead the industry in utilising them. Although every company has unique organizational needs, how you track, store and manage your internal documents can greatly impact the efficiency of your operations. Many businesses should invest in custom document management systems (DMS) and software to streamline these business processes.
SovTech is a custom software development company providing a complete software design and development service. We design, build, deploy and maintain innovative custom software that gives our clients the opportunity to start, run and grow world-class businesses. We believe technology will be at the core of businesses of the future. We aim to connect businesses across all industries to innovative software, technological development, solutions and services, in a manner that’s faster, easier and better than ever before. To date, we are operating across continents and have offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and Dubai.
SovTech’s expertise lies in
- Custom Software Development
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To get started with a no-obligation quotation on document digitization software solutions and other custom software services contact SovTech today.
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