Paper Documents in the Digital era

Pratima Harigunani
New Update

Vivek Naidu


Digital transformation affects every industry and companies of all sizes. It determines the competitiveness of a business. The next five to ten years will determine who will be among the digital winners or losers. However, the course must be set now.

Digital transformation is rewriting the rules for the capture of paper documents.

Here are few ways businesses can digitalize a wide variety of paper documents in an uncompromisingly easy way and as early as possible,to drive greater efficiency.


Digital transformation begins with the first scan!

Input management is one of the most essential and central processes of a digital transformation strategy. Across all sectors, paper is a 'show stopper' and 'cost driver'. It is necessary to completely avoid this disruption or to move digitalization as near as possible to where the paper enters the organization and accrues. Due to increased manual effort, paper produces the highest costs and the largest loss of time. In today’s era of near real time communication, this is no longer viable. Take a close look at all paper-based operations. Most of them are recurring routine operations, which can be easily automated and thus made more efficient.

You should always keep your eyes on the big picture in conjunction with ECM, ERP, CRM and other central applications of your company. Always view your business transactions from "end to end". The first step of the digital transformation is the digitalization of paper documents


The new rules of document capture

1) Eliminate media disruptions - focus on end-to-end digital processes.

Not only are paper-based processes expensive, they even inhibit the digital transformation. The solution is an early digitalization of paper documents, where they accrue. Create a kind of "paper firewall", so that costly paper-based operations do not enter into the business processes in the first place.


2) The future belongs to browser-based capturing and mobile apps.

With web-based (browser-based) and mobile capturing methods, any employee can at any time and any place, independent of hardware and operating systems, digitalize paper documents. There is no need to install any additional software on the terminals of employees. The software only runs centrally on servers, which reduces the expenditure of IT infrastructure and administration considerably.

3) The new freedom: 'Wireless'


Wireless devices, such as innovative scanners, offer enormous advantages: These can be 'shared resources', i.e. flexible, network connected, and capable of being used by many employees. Here, significant cost savings can be realized because the administration is handled centrally and the use via browser.

Vivek Naidu Vivek Naidu

4) Modern license models.


In the past, transaction- and volume-based license models have dominated. This is usually a good payment model for manufacturers but for the user it is sometimes rather problematic. Especially with fluctuating volume it is difficult to reliably calculate the costs. So-called flat rate or "concurrent" license models in which licenses are shared will become the rule.

5) Decentralized capture complements the central input management.

Whereas central input management was the ‘state of the art’ in the past, due to the trend ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD), which is driving more use of mobile devices at work, decentralized capture will play an increasingly important role in the future. Centralized scanning will be complemented in the future by efficient distributed capture via web browsers and mobile capture devices.


Using the right tools

Within a digital transformation strategy, web- or browser-based capture is one of the strongest trends in the market. Browsers are now available at any time at any place to any user and are an integral part of any terminal or mobile device. This is exactly the correct condition for maximum flexibility. Therefore, browser-based scanning systems will be used more frequently in the future for scanning and capture.

Paper becomes a spoilsport

One thing is clear: no company, regardless of size, can afford paper-based processes in addition to the digital business applications. The fundamental question is, when and how shall the paper documents be digitalized?

Central capture has, in most cases, been sufficient. But in the age of real-time communication and high customer expectations, decentralized digitalization is an absolute must.This is exactly why there are new scanning technologies and solutions that simply, efficiently and securely integrate paper documents directly into electronic processes, independent of the application or available hardware.

(Vivek Naidu is Vice President -Information Management at Kodak Alaris India Pvt. Ltd. Views expressed here are of the author and CyberMedia does not necessarily endorse them.)