Digitizing Business Documents: A Practical Guide

Scritto da Nicholas Chilese
il 10/05/2021

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From the early 2000s, corporate digitalization began to take hold in an increasingly important way.

A phenomenon that involves many interrelated activities, such as digitization of business processes or digital marketing actions. Among the first and fundamental actions to be carried out is the digitization of paper documents, a preparatory activity for subsequent actions and capable of immediately obtaining interesting results.

What is document digitization

Due to the scarce diffusion of digitization processes, many entrepreneurs or companies are still convinced that digitizing documents consists only in dematerialisation.

The term indicates the definitive elimination of the paper, which is transformed into text files of various types. Of course, digitizing documents is a much broader and more ramified process that, in the long run, manages to transform the company and optimize work times, improving productivity.

In any case, the digital transformation of the company must take place in a slow and thoughtful way, having the typical enthusiasm that characterizes any economic activity that wants to expand its investments, but without exaggerating: it is essential not to forget good planning, setting up the structure right to contain all the documents you need, then gradually operating a phase of coexistence between paper and digital, to finally get to no longer need paper support in general.

The advantages of document digitization

The benefits behind the digital transformation of documents are truly innumerable and do not end only in the elimination of paper.

Starting from the indirect benefits for the company, with the digitization of paper documents the consumption of paper and toner ink is reduced, if not completely eliminated. In addition, you can also save on related ancillary expenses, such as printers and copiers.

The annual savings of the company that is not forced to periodically purchase paper and ink is really a lot. Among other things, there are many costs connected to the conservation of paper: carpets and folders to contain them have a cost, as well as the need to use entire rooms for their conservation, purchasing special displays.

The greatest advantage of moving to the digitization of documents lies in the rationalization of the process of conservation, consultation and extraction of the same. Anyone who works as an archivist knows well that, when it is necessary to extract a not very recent document, you risk going crazy in search of the correct folder, wasting a lot of time if this is not found or the archive is damaged.

Thanks to digital transformation, combined with good management software, the extraction of the document will be very fast, allowing you to save time and money.

Finally, companies that rely on business models that require rapid sharing of information will certainly benefit from the digitization of paper documents. Think of the company that has several offices in various territories, even distant from each other: the time needed to share a digital file is a few seconds, that of sharing paper can take a few hours.

How to scan and keep a document

The procedure suitable for digitization of paper documents it is obtained through dematerialization: in this way, the document retains the same legal and evidential value – for example in the case of a contract – while losing its cumbersome paper form.

To digitize a document while maintaining its authenticity, it is necessary to comply with the requirements of Presidential Decree 445 \ 2000; the Legislative Decree 42 \ 2004 and the Prime Ministerial Decree of 22 February 2013. The combined provision of these provisions establishes that the digitization of documents is valid when:

  • a protocol is assigned to the dematerialized document;
  • the same is classified in a specific category (invoices, delivery notes etc.);
  • it is affixed with a digital signature valid in accordance with the law.

With the first, the document is inserted in a progressive scale from which not even a sheet can be missing, guaranteeing the existence of the document. The classification serves to divide rationally by categories, for example transport documents or invoices, while the digital signature guarantees authenticity and integrity of the dematerialized file by digitization.

By following these steps, the document can be created by eliminating the paper completely – for example for newly issued invoices – or to bring the old existing documents into the digital archive, physically eliminating them.

Software for document digitization

To help you in the digitization process, a fundamental role is played by the use of document software for digitization, such as Office 365 or Drive. Software able to facilitate the workflow of a company, helping your employees to work and process data even from different systems, such as PEC or electronic invoicing, without the need to switch from paper, also help you to evaluate the connections of the enterprise in the case of work in several departments, optimizing coordination and efficiency.

Specifically, the digitization of paper documents , managed through software, allows you to minimize the possibility of errors in identifying the content produced or received. In addition, it gives you the ability to manage and save the metadata of the scanned file, which is usually the specific information of a document, allowing you to locate it more quickly in the event of a search.

Another option allowed by digital document management programs is that relating to personalization or characterization through specific keywords, which help you in retrieval or consultation.

For example, to search for a contract, just enter this word in the software: in a few seconds you will be shown all the documents relating to what you typed.

The control and optimal management of a company pass above all from the evaluation and organization of the paper: there are various software for controlling digitized documents that can help the company to efficiently arrange its files, make them ready for consultation or quick extraction. , you just need to find the right one.

It is only a first step in the transformation

The dematerialization of documents does not exhaust the IT and innovation opportunities that can be brought to the company in view of a digital transformation. In addition to the digitization of documents, for example, their management, together with electronic invoicing, in the cloud is increasingly important.

Cloud programs, designed for the specific branch of the company for which they are designed, guarantee to obtain a complete digital transformation.

Maia Management was created to support companies in planning their corporate business digitization strategy, with subsequent coordination and management of projects, such as document digitization.

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