What is Document Digitization and Why It Is Important?
The world revolves around data and having the knowledge to store and process data is quite important for the evolution of humans. Before the advent of computers, data was bundled and stored on paper. But with the growing tediousness of manually maintaining tons of paper documents, an alternative was soon formulated.
Document digitization is the process of converting paper documents into a digital format that the computer can understand. (CSV, XML, JSON, and XLS). It saves you from the hassle of manually maintaining heaps of documents and enables you to store them in a single centralized location. In today’s digital transformation era, digitizing documents is a must. Before dicing into the numerous advantages, let us look at some ways we can digitize our documents.
Advantages of document digitization
- No hassle of manually storing documents
Manually maintaining documents is not only a tedious task but also quite expensive. Digitizing documents helps your organization cut expenditure on physical storage. Rather than storing physical records across multiple cabinets and in various storage rooms, you can digitize and then store them on your computer or any other device in a single repository.
- Enhance your productivity
Suppose your company schedules an immediate board meeting. Here, you are required to provide insights on the financial performance of your company last quarter. What would you prefer—retrieving financial documents from a storage room full of all other documents or retrieving them from an organized repository on your computer?
Digitizing documents enables you to store data in a centralized location, thus increasing the ease of access to information and, therefore, the productivity of your employees.
- Increased efficiency
Digitizing documents enables your employees to access information from anywhere in the world. This empowers your organization to work remotely and increases efficiency and business operating results.
- Boost data privacy & security
Maintaining paper documents comes with the potential risk of a data breach, which can have serious ramifications for your organization. Hence, digitizing your documents enables the implementation of various security features and safeguards sensitive information.
You can further incorporate access permissions and decide which employees can access certain information. This would ensure data privacy and prevent unauthorized people from accessing your digital data.
- Automate business operations
Technological advancements over the years have revolutionized the way companies conduct business. Employing manual labor to perform tasks that can be easily done with software is time-consuming and prone to errors. By digitizing documents, you can extract useful information from them and use various software to perform complex computational processes and business operations. You can also take the help of businesses offering document digitizing services to convert your documents into digital formats. Digitizing physical documents can also speed up the process of approvals and sign-offs.
- Boost collaboration among employees
Effective collaboration is one of the top factors for any organization’s growth and overall success. Rather than physically sending a bunch of documents to each other, you can digitally share their scanned copies in real-time and boost collaboration. This can save a lot of time, thereby improving the overall company efficiency.
Document digitization is the first step for your organization to become a digital enterprise. Integrating with other systems is a crucial advantage. But before you do that, you will need to classify and structure your data on the documents. Various document reading and interpretation applications can easily structure and extract important data seamlessly integrated with other systems. This allows for further processing and analysis.
- Paperless offices
For every bit of data your organization produces, dozens of trees are cut to house them on sheets of paper. This is a major environmental concern and should be prioritized by all organizations. Digitizing documents and storing them on computer systems enables your company to transition towards paperless offices and be more environment-friendly.
How to digitize your documents?
- Free software applications
Numerous free software applications in the market allow you to digitize various documents. Some examples include Office Lens (for DOCX, PDF) and Adobe Scan (PDF).
- Specialized OCR Software
OCR services enable you to use document scanning to scan invoices, text, and other files into digital formats. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a popular example of OCR software.
- IT Vendors
There are a lot of companies outsourcing a team of experts who can help you with the process of document digitization.
All in all, document digitization is a crucial step for your company to become a digital enterprise. Going paperless might seem daunting now, but it will be worth it in the long run. You will not only be caring for the planet but also saving yourself from storage expenses. You won’t have to worry about losing your documents, and you will be able to access them from anywhere. It will bolster your company’s efficiency and play an instrumental role in your organization’s overall goal.