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6 Key Considerations for digitising paper documentation.

By Nikki Clark | 3 October 2022

Are you thinking about scanning your organisations paperwork?  Going paperless or paperlight is often a topic of discussion to free up space within your work environment or to support with hybrid working.  To help you with your scanning project planning we have come up with our 6 key considerations for digitising paper documentation.

  • Business requirements

Before any paperwork is put through a scanner it is important to consider what does and doesn’t need to be imaged.  This can be a challenge to identify, however it is a very important initial step of any digitisation project.  Important factors including access requirements, retention policies, authenticity and reliability of the digitisation process all need to be taken into account.

  • Document Type

The document type is also a key part of project planning.  Different document types will have different imaging requirements and these need to be detected and addressed.  It is important to note document size, if documents are bound, stapled or if it requires much preparation or reconstitution before or after the digitisation.  Additionally, it is important to consider the contents of the documents, perhaps they are private, confidential or sensitive and may need special measures while being processed.

  • Indexing

Now you have reviewed the business requirements and the document type this will assist greatly with deciding the appropriate indexing requirements.  However, during this part of project planning the below are good questions to ask.

What are the key identifiers of the document?

What are the words or search terms that users use to search and locate this document?

Is there an internal process for indexing and cataloguing records and documents in your organisation? This is often done based on: Author, Title, Subject Review date, Classification, Owner

  • Scanning processes

Scanning paper documentation is more complex than simply putting paper records through a scanner.  Primarily it is essential to review the resource required to complete a project, and whether this can this be completed inhouse or will you be required to select a partner.

What hardware and software are needed? What is the cost associated, are multiple licenses needed for the scanning software?

Who is going to scan the documents? What training will they need?

How much time is needed to complete the project? Is there a deadline for the project?

Is there much work required to prepare the documents for scanning?

Will scanning logs need to be completed?  If so what will be included? Page count? Any existing damage to the original?

  • Quality checks

Quality checks are imperative to ensure the digitised copy are authentic and true to the original record. While this is part of the aforementioned ‘Scanning Process’ it is a significant step and really requires to be carefully thought out. For example, at which points in the project are the quality checks to be completed and to what extent are the checks to be carried out?

  • Storage & Hosting

The management and storage of the digital images and associated meta data must be determined and not an afterthought.  It is important to make appropriate arrangements while assessing security and access needs.  Are the files to be hosted in house or stored and hosted by a third party?  Questions to be asked include storage capacity, backup and restoration, and access and permission rights.

If you would like to discuss your scanning project further please feel free to email info@oasisgroup.com and one of our digital capture experts will be in touch. Alternatvely find out more by visiting our Scanning & Digitisation page by clicking here.

About the author

Within my role as Group Marketing Manager I support all Team Members and the organisation to market, promote and represent the brand appropriately as the European leader in Information Management.

Creating and managing campaigns throughout all industries and sectors to both new and existing clients across all regions, encapsulating the full service offering including our award winning Omnidox suite.

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