Electronic cloud based document management system imaging is the conversion of paper documents into electronic images, which are exact replicas of their paper counterparts. Electronic document imaging system introduction is simple – documents are scanned into the system and stored on a hard drive or optical disk. The documents then get indexed, stored and retrievable from the company’s computer network or the Internet. Since computers are much faster than humans, search, retrieval, distribution, and other manipulations could be done almost instantly. Which documents can be read and what actions performed on these documents is dependent on the retrieval and security tools available in the electronic document imaging system.
Before undertaking any document imaging activity, a strict document management model should be established, including a detailed business records retention policy. Maintaining records under a good document management model would enable implementation of fully effective electronic document management system and lower the cost of document preparation, which is the greatest cost involved in electronic document imaging.
A complete document imaging system is made of five components:
Quality scanning and OCR technology advancements make paper document conversion cheaper, easier and faster. Scanning documents is easy and scanners are relatively inexpensive.
The records storage system provides reliable long-term record retention. A good records storage system will accommodate changing documents, growing volumes and advancing document imaging technology. Depending on your personal comfort level, budget, etc. these documents can be archived on a tape drive, on a CD or stored on an optical disk. A single CD stores up to 650 MB of data, has a shelf life of 100 years, and has a price under $1.00. If you need instant access to archived documents you can add a CD player, which are rather inexpensive. Active documents and current information could be kept on your server. This gives you all the security precautions associated with your network and provides instant access to the documents over your network.
The index system creates an organized document filing systems and makes future retrieval simple and efficient. Index databases, should be designed to be self-extracting programs that are easily and quickly setup and maintained without constant IT involvement. Holding the index system concise and as limited as possible keeps the electronic document imaging system user friendly and cost efficient. A good indexing system will raise effectiveness of an existing procedures and document filing systems.
The retrieval system uses information about the documents, including index and text, to find images stored in the system. The freedom to use unlimited number of characters and numbers when labeling documents allows operators to use existing terminology with which employees are already familiar. This facilitates a quick and easy transition into using digital documents in place of paper documents throughout their organizations. A good retrieval system is intuitive and makes finding the right documents fast and easy.
Document viewing should be readily available to those who need it, with the flexibility to control access to system. Document security is a critical issue when sharing information over the Internet. A good access system will make documents viewable to authorized personnel only, whether in the office, at different locations, or over the Internet. Security tools are also included, which allow better access control and making backups that can rebuild complete archive from a scratch, in case of a disaster.
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