By Allie Philpin
With the words ‘paperless office’ being echoed down the corridors, quite possibly ‘music to the ears’ of many who are being drowned by paper, many a business is actively investigating how this can be achieved. But before you can be rid of your paper mountain (if you can ever be, which many believe is not completely possible!), you need to adopt effective, cost-efficient document imaging and capture processes, or document management. And this raises another anomaly or question: do enterprises truly understand the difference between document imaging and document capture?
Document management starts with document capture; if only it was that simple! It’s not… there are two steps to effective document management. Firstly, document imaging – the simple process of scanning documents in order to create a digital image of that document. Secondly, document capture – analysing and gathering information from the content contained within those documents, and allocating that information to the relevant files in your document management system.
Document management capabilities have been around for a while, it’s not something new, but the range of solutions available to help automate and develop the process is growing. Large and small enterprises are now able to take advantage of the technology to improve their business process, reduce their reliance on paper, and better optimise the masses of data they are now gathering.
Add into the mix the need for mobility in the workplace, the need to share information across the enterprise, to improve production and streamline workflows, and to make better use of the information gathered from social media sites, the internet, customers, competitors, etc., businesses are having to adapt and adopt new ideas and technology, and document capabilities have proved to be highly beneficial.
As technology improves, so does the quality of the scanning and imaging of equipment in the marketplace. Images are clearer, colour is more defined, duplex capabilities are improved, optical character recognition, and many other features; and it’s no longer a centralised environment. Lower-volume scanners are now available that allow for distribution across the enterprise, and offer a range of document imaging features.
Document capture adds the refined capabilities to a business that enables growth. Today’s document capture software allows users to investigate their data using intelligent data recognition technology to read and map documents, to integrate those electronically-produced documents into the organisation’s workflows, to streamline processes and optimise production, to effectively store and search the documents for valuable information, to unlock your business’s potential and develop strategies that will really drive your business forward.