Key Considerations for Your Document Imaging Project

Imaging your hardcopy documents can reduce your overhead costs and streamline your workflow processes. Digital files can be stored in a centralised location and accessed and shared remotely. Enhanced disaster recovery capabilities, reduction in storage space requirements, elimination of lost documents…the benefits of eliminating paper are endless. Yet, there are key factors to consider before beginning your document imaging project.

The scope of your project

No matter how frustrating it is dealing with your paper documents, it’s important to define the scope of your scanning project before you begin to tackle the problem. Otherwise, you may begin your scanning project in earnest only to abandon it in frustration. Key considerations include:

  • budget
  • timeframe for completion
  • digital storage capacity
  • IT infrastructure

Scanning is just one phase of an imaging conversion project and should involve input from the stakeholders in your organisation who will be accessing and utilising your digital information. A file plan structure should be developed with each department so that all digital information can be properly managed according to retention and internal audit requirements.

Internal resources and capabilities

If you have a desktop scanner, you may be able to handle imaging a few files. However, your office scanning equipment won’t be able to offer fast enough throughputs to meet the demands of imaging and converting a large portion of your business records. Attempting to scan a high volume of documents can lead to bottlenecks in other important business processes.

Overseeing a large-scale document scanning project is a full-time job. Your current staff likely has their hands full and may not have the time to properly execute your project. You could hire temporary staff to scan your files, but they are not likely to have the skills or expertise to ensure that all information is captured and converted accurately. Unfortunately, providing document conversion training is time-consuming and costly. Equipment and software problems can arise that require precise technical diagnosis and troubleshooting. And there’s no guarantee that the person(s) you have hired for your scanning project will be around to see your project through to a conclusion.

Physical space is also an issue, as there will need to be enough room to stage hardcopy documents, prep them for the scanning process, and re-organise them after imaging. If scanning equipment is purchased specifically for the project, there will also need to be space to properly use them. Correct configuration of a scanning operation is critical to a successful conversion.

Document management objectives

Simply having a collection of digital files may help you get rid of filing cabinets and boxes full of documents, but digital files themselves don’t automatically enhance your workflow and remote working capabilities. Your company must have the capability to properly manage your electronic files. Digital information should be properly stored and monitored. Search capabilities and document access levels need to be explicitly defined. Lastly, your document scanning objectives should align with your Enterprise Content Management (ECM) needs.

Security and privacy

The paper documents you have slated for imaging are likely to contain confidential corporate and personal information:

  • proprietary data and trade secrets
  • personal employee information
  • client data

If your document scanning project doesn’t follow proper security protocols, private data can easily be compromised. The personnel handling your document scanning project should be screened and bound by confidentiality agreements.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides document scanning and image hosting solutions for businesses throughout London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon. To find out more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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