At one time document imaging was categorized and interpreted differently. Document imaging, as an umbrella term, covered printers, copiers, scanners, microfilm and similar devices connected to reprography. Since the rise of IT and digitization services, document imaging systems services are interpreted to mean systems that capture, store and reprint images with refinement in the form of conversion to databases for easy access and retrieval. This comes as a boon to businesses moving towards paperless offices or seeking ways to digitize office records. Document imaging systems take care of digitizing all paper documents and then store all such data in an easy to retrieve yet highly secure electronic format. Critical data can rest securely behind many tiers of security but can be retried by authorized personnel anytime and from anywhere, read, edited and faxed or sent as email attachment, all in a matter of seconds.
Businesses generate a voluminous amount of paperwork in addition to electronic documents. Cross referencing them and accessing both when needed can become time consuming and cumbersome. By going in for smart document imaging systems, businesses can keep all records in a digital format, stored securely and accessible on demand. When one considers the number of man hours lost in simply searching and retrieving documents, document imaging system services are more than affordable; they are absolutely indispensable.
Simple scanning of office documents such as forms and invoices is easy. However, when this task is entrusted to a professional organization specializing in document imaging systems, all such scanned documents are indexed and organized methodically for easy retrieval. Further, using sophisticated ICR and OCR technologies these service providers can create searchable databases of all such documents. This means you can search, find, access retrieval with constant updates as newer files are added. The database or digital library may also find other uses in office productivity enhancements, reduction in manpower and consequently, cost savings.
Businesses might consider whether they should choose a database system or a metadata based document imaging system if they plan to install and operate it from within the organization. Equipped with a fast scanner and related OCR/ICR software and some practice, organizations can take on document image system tasks on their own. Some organizations might consider acquiring specialist software for ICR or OCR that will have data conversion capabilities or entrust this task to a service provider specialist to set up the system for them. The specialist can also advise on the choice of high speed scanner, integrated scanning software and the relevant character recognition software with additional modules. A specialist will add further modules to extract data, convert it into electronic text form or database form and then create another searchable option. In case of architects, they may need scanned raster images to be converted to vector AutoCAD drawings or similar formats. As one can see document image system installation, design or implementation is not as simple and straightforward as it sounds. The expert has to ensure documents are scanned perfectly, records of such scans maintained and then the scanned images taken up for conversion to text and databases with further processing for backend office applications as may be needed, simultaneously implementing security nets to safeguard such vital data. In environments like healthcare where paperwork still dominates, document imaging systems need to be implemented by professionals for the best ROI.
Smart businesses would consider all aspects of document imaging systems carefully before making a commitment. Consulting a specialist in this field is the smartest thing to do to ensure you get off on the right foot in the choice of equipments and allied software.