Document Imaging Software
The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) defines document imaging as a process that “allows organizations to capture paper-based information and convert it to electronic images that are stored in a computer electronically.” From this definition, it is clear that the main goal of having this process is to convert your paper-based documents to electronic files so that they are easier to access, work with, manage and share across media.
Components of document imaging
The main components of the document imaging process are a scanner and document imaging software. In this article, we will focus on the various aspects of document management software and how it helps you manage documents by converting them to digital files.
How a document imaging software works
Document imaging can be viewed as the front end of a document management system. A document imaging software application performs the preliminary tasks in the document management process. These tasks are basically of two types:
- Scanning: This involves using a scanner. The documents are fed into the scanner (either a flatbed or one with an Automatic Document Feeder or ADF) and scanned, following which they are taken out of the scanner. This step results in the creation of a digital image of the paper-based document; e.g. a registration form, a handwritten letter from a customer, etc.
- Extracting text: This is the second task performed by the document imaging software. Here, an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine reads the text from the image and extracts it, so as to enable you to search the document by its content (full-text search).
Benefits of document imaging software
- Saves space The most obvious benefit of document imaging software is that it saves you huge space as you need not reserve filing cabinets to store paper files. Also, your desk can be smaller as all your documents will now be on your computer and not spread out over the table. This frees up space that can be put to better use.
- Saves long term costs: When you invest in document imaging software and a scanner, it is just that: an investment. The rent and other costs saved (both recurring and non-recurring) as a result will more than pay back the cost of purchasing the software.
- Better accessibility: It is far easier to access a digital file than to walk up to a filing cabinet that could be in another corner of your office. This is true especially if you need to refer to numerous different matters during the course of the workday. The amount of time and effort saved can best be appreciated when viewed over a period; e.g. in terms of hours per month per employee.
- Search-friendly: Not only does document imaging software make files more accessible, it also makes them more findable. This is because of the text extraction that is done using the OCR engine as described above. Moreover, digital images can be indexed using various criteria, making them even more search-friendly. This helps you save time and offers a better user experience.
While document scanning simply converts paper-based documents to digital files, document management goes further, by connecting scanning with other aspects of electronic document management. Globodox is a document imaging software that not only has several scanning and imaging features inbuilt, it also facilitates the complete range of tasks one needs to perform as part of document management – be it a medium-to-large enterprise or a small-sized or professional firm.