Simplify the Physical to Digital Process

By: In: Information Management On: Oct 26, 2015
Simplify the Physical to Digital Process

How do I gain access to my information to extract maximum value?

Information is essential to business. Extracting maximum value from your information means getting the right information to the right place fast, with minimal effort, total accuracy and no compromise to security. Achieve this, and you will gain competitive advantage by providing better service to your people, and your customers.

The well-documented 20th century vision of the paperless office has still failed to materialise. Paper is slow to move, easy to lose and hard to control. Yet more than half of companies still receive the majority of their customer enquiries on paper. It’s time to simplify the physical to digital process.

According to a joint PwC/Iron Mountain white paper, only 26% of companies have training programmes on information risk. And even where procedures are in place, they are all too often misunderstood and even ignored.

In order to extract maximum value and ensure you get a positive Return on Information, company-wide policies and procedures need to be applied. These should regulate document destruction and retention, authorised access, secure storage, removal and digitising.

Archived records can be scanned, but scanning records indiscriminately is costly and inefficient. A pay-as-you-go model is usually the most cost effective. This lets you scan the documents you need or use frequently for immediate use. Other documents you access rarely can be scanned on demand.

Processes that are ideal for document scanning in the migration from physical records to digital include:

  • credit Card application forms
  • HR Employee files
  • technical Product drawings
  • claim forms
  • invoice/Travel Expense forms
  • complaints forms.

One advantage of digital records is the opportunity to use metadata as tags. This allows different people to find a particular document using the most relevant search terms. Huge efficiency gains can be made in this way. It follows that when customer facing teams have direct access to information, they can meet the needs of customers more quickly.

Migrating from physical to digital media does require investment, but an AIMM Market Intelligence Report in 2014 entitled “Paper Wars” demonstrated that 60% of businesses who implemented these techniques saw a payback within 18 months.

In our next blog, we’ll look at the costs connected to information risk. In the meantime, if you’d like to get started, download our free Checklist for Digitising.

← Getting It Right from the Start-How To Plan, Execute and Benefit from a Digitising Programme Seizing the Information Advantage: Unlocking Value and Insight →

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About the author

Phil Greenwood

Phil Greenwood is Country Managing Director & Commercial Director at Iron Mountain responsible for delivering information and records management solutions into the UK's largest Public, Private and NHS customers. Phil directs and runs specialist sector teams aligned to the sector specific requirements of Iron Mountain's clients. These requirements demand innovative solutions that deliver compliance and governance as well as efficiency and cost cutting in order to transform business results and improve the way organisations use their information. Phil has over 10 years' experience working with UK and International records management. He is involved with the UK Information and Records Management Society. Phil has worked within service delivery and customer facing roles, as well as in general management roles within the outsourcing and information management industries. Legally qualified, Phil has also spent time as a fee earner within law firms and has a strong understanding of the way that information and services drive the core business of client organisations.