Public and private sector organizations face a daunting outlook when considering their digital transformation journey; they must consider the decades’ worth of paper documents currently stored in boxes, claiming immense amounts of real estate. In addition, as hybrid work models have increased, employees are often away from these paper documents and unable to locate critical information fast. How can organizations ensure they are prepared to embark on a digitization project and realize a return on that investment?
Getting started on your digital journey
The complexity of converting paper documents into a digital format can be significant, especially for large volumes of data. However, with proper planning and execution, the benefits of digitization can far outweigh the potential challenges involved in the process.
We recently had the opportunity to work with a state government client looking to digitize a mass amount of paper documents. Over several months, our team – in partnership with the client – successfully digitized 14.6 million paper documents. The successful digital transformation helped the client realize other value streams and operational efficiencies.
The digitization roadmap
When undergoing a digitization project of any size, organizations – whether public or private sector – should develop a comprehensive strategy that considers the multiple steps and regulatory requirements necessary to succeed. A significant number of people, hours, and expertise are required to discover, process and review the millions of records identified for digitization. Organizations often find it helpful to work with a partner to develop and execute their digital strategy to avoid major roadblocks along the way.
The complexity involved in converting paper documents into a digital format can vary depending on several factors, such as the volume of documents, the quality of the original documents, the desired output format, and the level of accuracy required. Getting this right is an essential step toward digital transformation. It sets the stage for ensuring that your organization’s data is ready as you modernize your approach to deliver quality data and analytics that drive faster business outcomes.
Here are some common challenges and complexities to look out for on your journey:
- Establishing a storage and maintenance plan for every document that will be converted from paper to digital format
- Adherence to organization retention requirements
- Change management for employees who will need to adapt to new ways of working
- Security plans that account for the need to provide the correct level of visibility to data and reporting and ensure compliance management
- Paper document disposal processes that remain in compliance with organizational requirements
The final destination
If executed successfully, there are several benefits an organization may realize once they decide to digitize paper records:
- Cost savings: Digitizing paper records can save costs associated with physical storage, maintenance, and retrieval of paper documents. With digitized records, renting expensive storage space or paying additional staff to manage physical files is unnecessary.
- Improved efficiency: Digitized records can be accessed instantly. Employees no longer have to spend hours searching paper files for the necessary information. This can lead to increased productivity and faster decision-making.
- Enhanced security: Paper records can be lost, stolen, or damaged. Digitizing records and storing them securely in the cloud or on a server can help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, theft, or loss due to natural disasters.
- Better compliance: Many industries require organizations to keep records for a certain amount of time. Digitizing records can make it easier to comply with regulations and provide auditors with the necessary documentation when required.
- Improved customer service: Digitized records can be accessed quickly and easily, allowing employees to provide customers with the information they need faster. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- More space: Converting paper documents to digital files reduces the physical space required for storage, freeing up office space for other uses.
Are you ready to start your digital transformation journey? Learn more about how we’re helping our government clients by visiting our state and local government page.