Digitisation – The Big Questions

What is Digitisation?

  • The means of converting hard-copy or non-digital source documents into digital format (ISO 13028:2012)
  • Scanning’ is one method of digitising hard copy documents/source records

Today if most documents are born digital, why digitise at all?

While most documents created today are ‘born digital‘ there are still some documents:

  • Which are received by organisations in hard copy/paper format
  • Which the business uses somewhere within their processes and operations and which remain in hard copy/paper format
  • Which were only captured in hard copy/paper format, such as those documents created a number of years ago and held on hard copy files only

Digitisation is costly and the process can sometimes be quite complex.  You need to be sure that you only digitise those documents which must be digitised and for which there is a clear measurable business benefit.  To help you get the most out of your digitisation process you need to undertake a number of steps as outlined here.

Is all digitising/scanning equal?

NO

An organisation MUST be able to prove that the scanned image is an accurate complete reliable reproduction of the original source document which can legitimately be used in place of a physical source document.

It is very easy to create a reproduction which cannot stand in the place of the original source document.

How do you ensure that you will create an accurate complete reliable reproduction?

  • Your organisation must have a ‘Digitisation Process’ which will result in an accurate complete reliable reproduction being created
  • You need to have undertaken a Digitisation Risk Assessment
  • You need a system with recordkeeping capabilities in which to capture the digital reproduction

What areas of the business will digitisation have a direct impact upon?

  • Some or all of the organisation’s ‘Business Processes’/Operations
  • IT Infrastructure (system processing/performance and digital storage requirements)
  • The process the organisation uses to digitise/scan hard copy/paper documents

How can you prepare for digitisation?

  • Ensure you have Executive support and understanding of what the initiative entails
  • Ensure the organisation has a digital strategy which has been endorsed by Executive
  • Develop a Digitisation Policy which has been endorsed by the Executive
  • Ensure your organisation takes all possible steps to reduce the quantity of hard copy/paper documents received via incoming hard copy mail process
  • Ensure the business is fully prepared for digital operations

So what is the point of digitisation?

  • Digitisation supports an organisation to commence the digital transformation
  • Digitisation is required until an organisation stops receiving hard copy/paper documents
  • Digitisation is required until all business processes within the organisation no longer need hard copy/paper documents
  • Digitisation is required in order to digitise documents which were captured in hard copy/paper format only, such as those documents created a number of years ago and held on hard copy files only.  This is often referred to as ‘Back-capture’

Digitisation requires a paradigm shift

A new way of thinking!