The UK's Digital Imaging and Scanning Specialists


The Image Cloud Blog

Up to date news and advice on digitisation, digital preservation and document management.


Why Should Businesses Digitise Their Documents?

Digitisation is the process of turning physical documents into digital files. Businesses generate large quantities of paper documents during the course of their work; from HR files to financial reports, marketing files to minutes of meetings. Many businesses and organisations find the idea of a paperless office daunting and unachievable, but you cannot run at optimal capacity with wasted office space, or spend more time than necessary searching for a specific document when requested. Here are some of the reasons why digitisation is so important for your organisation.

Increased Access

Creating and storing digital business records can increase access and streamline your services. Multiple employees will be able to quickly access files at the same time and from multiple locations, both within and outside normal business hours. SMEs, especially smaller ones, are no longer location dependent, time and geography are no longer a restriction, digitisation can create flexibility in your company allowing you to focus on optimising and streamlining your workforce.


Your files are secure and access can be limited to specific users, You can control who has access so only authorised users can see the information. A digital footprint is also a good way of recording who has viewed/edited a document and when, which means issues can be resolved much quicker and staff can be held accountable.


Descriptive metadata can be linked to the digitised images which can increase searchability and therefore streamline business processes. For example, rather than trawling through multiple files to locate the one document that is vital to your work, with the click of a few buttons you can instantly retrieve that one document that you are looking for.

Optical Character Recognition(OCR) is still not perfect, at least not for ‘translating’ the printed word into editable text, however, it is perfect for creating searchable PDFs and like metadata, can save time and effort when looking for specific documents or phrases within those documents.

Preservation and Disaster Recovery

How many copies of paper documentation does your business create and store? Records are at risk from fire, flood, theft, loss, but digitising your records provides a digital backup should the unthinkable occur. Backup can be automated on multiple machines, which saves you time and effort and can be an important part of your disaster recovery plan.

Redundant Technologies.

Microfilm and microfiche was made redundant as soon as computers were able to display images and store files. Floppy disks and digital tape were made redundant by CDs which in turn, have been eliminated as hard drives and solid state drives hold more data and have a longer shelf life. Manufacturing companies such as Apple have even removed optical media drives from their computers completely, even on site storage and backups have almost been eliminated with the growth of cloud and off site backup.

Branding and Marketing

Digitising your business records can help support your branding and marketing campaigns. For example, an organisation may decide to digitise advertising material and make it publicly available to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of the company.

And we all know that digitised images can be posted on social media to connect with your stakeholders and customers or increase exposure.

Save Space, Time and Effort

Business records can be bulky, stored in multiple filing cabinets which take up valuable office space. Digitising your records can free up this space and save your company money in the long term.

Eliminates the Confusion Caused by a Hybrid Environment

It is not uncommon for businesses to have a hybrid record keeping system, with important documentation in both paper and electronic form. Imagine the disadvantage of an employee having to search in multiple physical and virtual locations to find that one document that they need. Furthermore, which is the latest version? The paper or the electronic document? Digitising your business records eliminates this confusion and streamlines your processes, in turn saving you time and money.

Where do you Think the Paper Documents Come From?

The majority of the day to day documents you come across are born digital and then printed. A process of which makes no sense if you think about it. You may have come across instances in your personal life, such as using a recent utility bill for proof of address or payslips for a mortgage application. If they want the original and not a copy, what is the copy? Technically the paper document you have received is a copy and the original digital file is held by the organisation who then printed that file and sent it to you. Luckily, most businesses send payslips via email and certain councils, banks and services accept digital documents more and more these days.

Printing Costs

One of the ten most expensive liquids in the world, Black Printer Ink, at £580 per litre is more expensive than human blood. Not as expensive as scorpion poison (£10,000,000 per litre), but that's for another list. Digitisation reduces printer costs and can even eliminate it altogether.

You Already Have the Infrastructure in Place

A computer, perhaps a server, and backup and restore schedules, are already in your office. Digital documents fit into this existing infrastructure and can help you run at optimal capacity.

Outsourcing Your Digitisation Needs is Cost Effective

No need to hire extra staff or take staff away from current duties, no training involved, no equipment to purchase. Reduce your overheads and increase your profits by digitising.

So what are you waiting for? Make the improvements now to save your business time and money and effort in the long run


Digitisation is secure, traceable, cost effective and time efficient.


So what are you waiting for? Make the improvements now to save your business time and money and effort in the long run

Alfie Shillingford