What to Do Before You Digitize - A Checklist For Success
Seven Things You Can Do To Make Your Digitizing Project A Success
It makes good sense to digitize business
processes that are clogged with paper.
After all, fast and easy access to your
information can speed up customer
service, enhance document sharing and
help people do their jobs more efficiently.
But that doesn’t mean digitizing will be
easy or automatically successful.
1: Select With Care
Document your current businesses processes to determine
where digitizing could increase efficiency and justify
implementation. Choosing a single business process may
be a good way to start. Keep in mind the cost of scanning
a cubic foot of archive is about equivalent to storing that
same foot for twenty years or so. You may decide to scan
only new documents and those you retrieve frequently.
2: Define Your Goals
Determine why your company needs to capture
information electronically and what you want to achieve
by doing so. If your high-level business requirements,
integration points and expected outcomes are clear,
you’ll be better able to define the functionality you want.
While you focus on business goals, don’t lose sight of
regulatory requirements and the need to treat compliance
as part of your plans.
3: Build a Business Case
Sell your program in by building a business case aligned
with your organization’s priorities. Get senior management
to support your plans and help to drive change. Define the
role IT plays. Don’t involve a vendor too soon.
4: Build a Team
Select a cross functional team with representatives from
the business area, legal, IT and the community of end
users. Communicate technologies, project milestones, the
benefits that you can deliver as well as the changes and
results that the business can expect. You’re delivering a
business solution, not just a technology. Involving people
in change is crucial to your success.
5: Divide To Conquer
Cleaning and grouping information is quite different from
scanning a document – reason enough to uncouple the
two. Make sure you have capacity to clean and group
files before they are scanned. You may need a period
of optimization following implementation. A 200-page
Request for Proposal (RFP) won’t guarantee your success,
planning has an important role to play.
6: Put People First
It’s not enough to get a new tool onto a network. Focus
on the user experience and make sure the metadata
requirements are realistic. Tags, labels and other forms
of metadata are key to locating the right document quickly.
No one knows this better than the people who look for
the organization’s documents every day. This is why users
should define the metadata. They should, of course, be
guided by experts, but don’t let the experts make all
the decisions. Add training to your plans to encourage
wider adoption. Take an informal approach by hosting
a lunch-and-learn that allows people to experiment with
a beta system.
7: Manage Your Vendor
Involving a vendor too early in scanning and digitizing can
be a distraction. Defining your project and your business
needs before your vendor is involved will help you work
together more effectively. Choose a vendor that’s willing
to schedule regular reviews to fine-tune adoption. Iron
Mountain’s services can be tailored to your needs and our
teams have experience in scanning and digitizing projects
for businesses of all sizes and types. You can combine our
digitizing services with offsite records management for a
cost-effective, holistic solution.
Find out more about digitizing with our short guide,
Get it Right from the Start,the basics of digitizing. Or download our slides with the research and insight
you need to present your business case for digitizing.