Not every organization understands the value of document imaging solutions. Every office comes across paper and every office probably has some kind of document imaging system; usually a scanner, printer/scanner, or MFP serving a small workgroup or department. However, to get the real benefits, document imaging solutions have to be part of a larger data management strategy. Document imaging is an important link in the data management chain, but some customers are going to need to be convinced that document imaging solutions are an important part of a larger enterprise content management initiative.
The market for document imaging solutions continues to grow. Infotrends forecasts that document imaging sales will hit $780 million in 2015. Factors that are driving sales of document imaging solutions are more mobile users, more available secure cloud storage, and more demand for big data analytics. Mobile users are increasingly using smartphones and other handheld devices for business purposes. Those mobile images have to be stored and managed as part of document imaging. The increased availability of cloud storage also makes document imaging solutions more attractive, since cloud archives are more elastic, more secure, and make it easier to share and secure digital documents. And perhaps most important is the boom in big data. Hadoop analytics take advantage of unstructured data such as scanned images, and increasingly images and scanned documents are going to be included in big data processes.
So what objections could prospective customers have to adding document imaging solutions to their enterprise? Here are some of the most common objections, and ways to respond to them:
I don’t really need document imaging.
If the organization has any kind of paper process or workflow, then chances are they need document imaging. Personnel records, accounting processes, product orders, and even routine paperwork that needs to be shared in meetings can all benefit from document imaging. Even archiving expense reports and routine office paperwork using document imaging solutions can save time, office space, and money.
It’s too expensive. Document imaging will never pay for itself.
There are lots of statistics that prove that reducing paper processes using document imaging systems will pay for itself many times over. Research shows that on average, 7 percent of an organization’s total annual revenue goes to document output, and that a well-crafted document management system saves 28 percent of operating costs.
My IT staff doesn’t have time to deal with document imaging systems.
In fact, more than 50 percent of Help Desk calls are for printer issues, and IT professionals spend on average 10 percent of their time dealing with printer problems. If the average IT professional earns $80,000 per year that’s $8,000 in salary costs for one IT staff member dealing with printer problems. Document imaging will pay for itself and if they are concerned about taking up IT staff time, sell them a service contract.
We have lots of sensitive documents. If we adopt document imaging it will be harder to secure them.
Actually, using document imaging as part of enterprise content management is more secure than paper storage. Anyone can access unattended paper files or see paperwork that is carelessly left on someone’s desk. Documents can be secured on password-protected servers and users have to be authenticated for access. And the system maintains an audit trail so you know when unauthorized users access sensitive data. The documents themselves also can be locked using digital rights management.
We don’t have the space to store all that extra data.
Chances are that there is plenty of data storage available to handle document storage. Even if there isn’t adding storage is not that expensive. After all the price of hard disk storage has dropped from $437,500 per gigabyte in 1980 to $0.03 in 2014. And the cloud is an expandable data storage resource that is inexpensive, secure, and accessible from anywhere.
Scanning paper documents is time consuming and wastes too much administration time.
Actually, using scanned documents saves time. More than 7 percent of all business documents are lost, and 3 percent are misfiled. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that it costs $20 to file a paper document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document, and $220 to re-create a lost document. Another study by Deloitte & Touche found that managers spend, on average, three hours a week looking for mislabelled or misfiled documents. Using document imaging centralizes document storage so files are searchable and retrievable – no more time wasted hunting for lost paperwork.
Armed with the right information, you can make a strong case for document imaging solutions with any organization that is still using paper processes. Turning paper into digital files is more secure, more efficient, and more cost-effective than shuffling paper. And you should be able to do a cost analysis that proves document imaging solutions outperform paper processes almost every time.