scanners_document management

It’s safe to say that many organisations have toyed with the idea of going ‘paperless’ at one point or another. However, as anyone who has ever actually tried will tell you, it is easier said than done. 

Scanners have been an office staple for many years now, allowing users to convert hard copy documents to a digital format. Yet, they haven’t really succeeded in transforming entire businesses into ‘paperless’ enterprises. 

There are perhaps a number of reasons for this. In the past, scanning documents has been a slow process. Ensuring they were stored securely and easily located was “fiddley” at best, and far too time-consuming. And when all was said and done, there really wasn’t much that could be done with the final digital document. 

Luckily, today’s technology offers more solutions and a wider variety of uses. The right device combined with the right software can provide your business with more than just a documents scanner – it’s a complete document management system.

Benefits of a document management solution

The top line business benefits of an integrated document management system are numerous:  

  • Streamlined workflow, with instant access to documents 
  • Improved security and compliance, with the ability to limit who can access certain documents. \
  • Storing backed-up files offsite (on either hardware or in the cloud) improves security and adds another level of protection against theft or disaster 
  • Reduced expenses, due to less space required for filing and storing hard copy documents. 

On a day-to-day level, there are also many practical benefits: 

  • Optical Character Recognition and Barcode Recognition technologies help you to index documents for easy retrieval, and generally streamline high-volume document filing. 
  • With supporting apps, documents can be scanned and sent to your staff’s smartphones or tablet devices, ensuring information is available to the relevant people 24/7. 
  • Easier compliance with auditing requirements 
  • Reduced clutter 

Organising your virtual files

As with any new technology purchase, there are things to keep in mind to ensure you find the best scanning solution for your business. 


How much space do you have for a scanner? Scanners are available in compact and desktop sizes through to professional and multi-function printers with a scanning function. If you have limited space available, make sure you choose a scanner that helps with organisation rather than adding to the office clutter. 

What will it scan?

Will you only be scanning A4 sheets of paper?  If not, make sure that your scanner can handle a variety of paper sizes, as well as plastic cards if required. 

How many people will use it? 

Depending on the size of your organisation, you might require more than one scanner. Think about how many people will be using each scanner.  If it’s going to be regularly used for large documents or by many people, you will want a device that offers a sheet feeder so that you don’t need to position and replace every individual sheet of paper. 

It’s also worth remembering that the more people who use the scanner, the higher scanning speed you are likely to need. 

How will you access and use the digital document?

How will you want to access and use the document once it is in digital format?  Does the scanner offer you the options of storing the document in the Cloud, PC or Mac, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), shared folders, USB drives, or sending it to email? 


When it comes to scanning software, there are many options available. Using the software that is included with your scanner is often easiest, although it’s important to ensure that it can be used in conjunction with any other systems and software you regularly use.  

For example, is it compatible with all operating systems like Windows, Apple, Linux and Citrix? Will you be able to access the document in Word and other Windows programs, Adobe applications or other image programs? Do you use an industry-specific software?

Additional hardwear is also worth thinking about. A scanner with printer connections is a useful thing for when you need hard copies on the run.

With some forethought and consideration, your scanning system can drastically change the productivity and flow of your workplace. More than a convenience, it’s a solution to storage, editing and document management.

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