To digitize or to not digitize? That's the query. Probably, since long ago, many agencies have been asking their selves the exact same question without getting a correct answer; and it’s correctly the time-pass that's working opposite to them all. In fact, within this long duration of hesitation, the pile of files carries on to multiply. Jorge Lopez, Vice President and distinguished analyst of the Gartner Group, attempted to answer the query on the CIO & IT Executive Summit 2013, which happened during September 2013, in Mexico City. He mentioned that "the tip for obtaining an outstanding position on the market through scientific knowledge will be to be mindful of the reality that digitization isn’t just something temporary, but a trend that is definitely modifying the future".
Out of this new viewpoint, the living cycle of any record has evolved. Today, the document steps include: production, capturing, storage, management and dispersal. Similarly, the challenges, better called advantages that a business is dealing with when utilizing digitization processes could be summarized as follows: cost reduction, productivity and safety increase, and green technology.
In an organization, cost saving is absolutely relevant to the digitization of their business files. To highlight this statement, we might take as a reference the "Study about document digitization and the cost of paper conservation", carried out by the European Union, Andersen Consulting and Gartner Group. That report suggests that storing a record in a regular paper file costs 6.53 Euros; and a company could well be saving near 10.53 Euros for every single document that isn't physically stashed. Moreover, the normal charge for the area necessary to store conventional files is for 11,000 Euros, opposite to 114 Euros if docs are recorded in an electronic format.
In contrast, the surge in work productivity levels is highlighted in an investigation conducted by AIIM Europe 2009 (the Global Community of Information Professionals), whereby they express that greater than 15% of the office's area is destined to paper file cupboards. This space or room and rather cluttered file organization systems can be the factors why it might take the average of fifty minutes per day for a worker to search for and discover paper documents. The details demonstrated by these statistics may evidently produce a negative corporate image, decrease in credibility, and also incorrect business conclusions.
Relating to safety, it's generally not advisable to scan all of the documents. Each enterprise must decide that which might be the most crucial business documents and these should be scanned. Normally these are the most recent, active, oldest and harmed files.
Mostly with document management systems, several employees can approach a digitized document all at once, but just endorsed people can view a digitized document. Quite simply, security is guaranteed, owing to particular admittance permissions and merely because document contents may be submitted in total or partially, by electronic mail or other electronic mechanism, without the need for sending actual physical copies or required to await the docs for being received.
An office that saves paper is truly a green office that values the environment. According to an investigation performed by Telefónica, one of major private telecom businesses on the earth, an employee uses the average of 10,000 sheets of paper per annum. In case this figure is multiplied with the number of employees in an organization, the results may be shocking.
The Legal Gap
One of the factors is limiting frequent usage of electronic docs is the legal gap around the process. For example, in the European Union there is modest clear legislation on the legal validity of electronic documents, although significant attempts are made over the last decade. Do you know why it is so tough to implement appropriate legislation concerning electronic documentation in Europe? Because each EU member country needs to translate the related European directive towards a country wide law; and freshly released directives are certain concerning the purpose and not so concerning the techniques to get to this objective.
Moreover, there exists a lack of homogenization amongst the diverse countries of your EU. For example, in Belgium, Spain, France and Holland, there's no crystal-clear legislation with regards to the wreckage of traditional physical files, while in Germany and Italy you will find special laws managing this problem. A precise case is that of UK, where businesses are destroying their initial paper documents merely because of the vagueness of British law. They have no explicit law controlling the procedure.
As might be envisioned, the safekeeping duration of original papers' documents isn't regulated in any general way either, and every country describes the related authority that must determine document storage times. As a curious fact, in Switzerland, for example, docs concerning property need to be kept around 20 and 25 year time.
The legal gap is strong evidence of insufficient legislative homogeneity, both at an international and national scale. In the end, it's not reasonable that, on one hand, legislation controls electronic digitization and filing, and on the contrary, destruction of original files isn’t permitted. This scenario is neither efficient nor sustainable. The associated authorities must act now in the matter and evolve along with science, in order to guarantee effective electronic business relationship among markets and clients.
Documentary Solutions for Every Taste and Budget
There is no way out that performs for every person. There are many document systems that comprise digitization, storage, retrieval and managing business docs as a substantial part of the solution and there are some other systems focusing on documents' digitization. Specialized applications would be the perfect option for companies that desire to digitize large volumes of files, but that don't need a sophisticated document management system. Alternatively, in case an organisation wishes to integrate a document management system in their document formation and generation techniques and, for that reason, would need more command then modular or all-inclusive document management solutions would be the most suitable option.
When some time ago, comprehensive solutions were highly-priced, currently, many document management software manufacturers have reduced their prices, because document management is ever more popular and so as to offer the many advantages of document management - formerly only within scope of huge businesses - to medium and small organizations.