Well, guess what. Document imaging applications have been doing digital transformation since before it was called that. After all, isn’t the purpose of imaging to transform paper into information so that it can be consumed digitally? Seeing how we have a head start on this hot trend, let’s look at five ways that value-added resellers can capitalize on the digital transformation trend with document imaging:
- Imaging serves as a bridge: Sure, every organization’s ultimate digital transformation goal is to eliminate paper completely, but this is not going to happen overnight. For example, despite a steady increase in the use of e-invoices, Paystream Advisors estimated that, in 2016, 50 percent of invoices in the U.S. still were received on paper. No, imaging doesn’t eliminate paper, but it can be used to truncate it—and stop it from going any further downstream in your business process.
- Imaging is mobile-friendly: Part of the buzz around digital transformation is “mobile first.” This means that people are constantly increasing the amount of information they are accessing through their mobile devices. Guess what—imaging can make what was a piece of paper available to a mobile user. Mobile users can also capture document images through the cameras on their smartphones.
- In the age of digital transformation, information is king, and imaging can be used to unlock information: For example, Uber doesn’t manufacture anything, but is among the most highly valued companies on Wall Street. What are their assets? Information. Sure, organizations have a lot of data coming in every day from Web sites, social media, and mobile apps. But what about their paper information? How do they unlock the data stored on billions of sheets of paper that might be flowing into an organization? Imaging and the application of OCR, of course.
- Speed: As a byproduct of digital transformation, everybody wants everything done now. Think about it: When you enter information into a Web site or a mobile app, you expect immediate feedback. That doesn’t happen with paper. It takes time for a piece of paper to be physically transported from point A to point B. And someone then has to read that paper and decide what to do with the information on it. Scanning paper and applying technology like OCR, ICR, and intelligent document recognition can transform a physical process into an electronic one. This can not only speed it up but also increase the consistency of the action taken. Imaging offers a way to introduce the speed and power of technology into legacy paper processes.
- Digital storage: One advantage of a digital transformation is that an organization no longer has to worry about storing paper and the messiness and uncertainties that go along with it. Paper can be lost, destroyed, and copied without authorization, and it takes up physical space. Digital documents can be protected from those first three issues, and the only space they take up is virtual.
The bottom line is that, as an analog medium for carrying information, paper is an enemy of digital transformation. However, digitizing that paper and onboarding into your customers’ modern ways of doing business is the best way to capitalize on the digital transformation trend.