What Is Imaging
It is true that the majority of documents created nowadays are created and stored electronically. Nearly every organization however, has a large volume of documents that currently only exist in a paper format. Document Imaging or imaging, allows organizations to capture paper based information and convert it to electronic images that are stored in a computer electronically. There are several reasons why organizations decide to transform these paper documents and make them available electronically:
- Ease of access
- Enables full text search
Imaging however, can be a costly process and because of that it deserves attention and analysis. Even though imaging is getting easier to manage with all of the various type of scanning hardware available, the big steps in an imaging project are:
- Sorting the documents,
- Preparing them for scanning,
- Indexing the scanned documents so they can be retrieved and searched,
- Storing in a system.
It is easy to understand and quite obvious that sorting in the situation shown in this picture will require a lot of time and effort, but even in well organized environments it takes a lot of time and effort to sort and prepare the documents. What is perceived as a simple task that needs to take place during document preparation, removing all of the staples and paperclips for example, can be a mammoth task when considering the volume of paper to be addressed.
Another important and time consuming element is the indexing of the document. Do this step wrong and you find that a lot of money is being spent making documents irretrievable. The quality and effort put into these activities determines how well the document can be found in the electronic environment. The questions of what file format will be used to store the file, what quality of scan is needed, what needs to be scanned in addition to many other questions also have to be answered.
All of these elements and many more determine the success of an imaging project which is often linked to an effort of gaining better control of all information in an organization.