What Scanning Can and Can't Do

Scanning paper document on machine.

Scanning is a simple, effective solution--but it's not a cure-all. Setting realistic expectations from day one will help you get the most out of your scanning solutions without putting too much pressure on them. Here's what scanning can and can't do!

Scanning Capabilities

Although scanning can do just about everything, there are some exceptions--after all, no business solution is all-powerful! Luckily, once you know what scanning can and can't do, it's much easier to put this solution to work in ways that will benefit your entire business.

Can

  • Scanning can improve security.

Digital documents are easier to protect than physical files. For example, a natural disaster might wipe out every piece of paper a company has--but if that company has scanned their documents, the digital copies are still safe and sound.

  • Scanning can boost efficiency.

Scanned documents are much easier to organize by keyword, title, content, or date because that type of indexing can be done automatically (and without searching through a file cabinet!).

  • Scanning can read and understand data.

Although not all scanners are equipped with this technology, called OCR (optical character recognition), those with OCR can compare characters to knowledge databases, understand what's typed or written, and create files that can be searched and even edited.

Can't

  • Scanning can't eliminate paper reliance.

Scanning helps companies get closer to digital workflows, but it's not a replacement for paper. Going digital requires an interwoven spider-web of other solutions--although scanning is probably in the middle!

  • Scanning can't replace shredders.

Scanning turns physical files into digital documents, but that doesn't mean you can forget about the original copy. Remember to shred paper you no longer need, especially if it contains sensitive information.

  • Scanning can't provide complete document management infrastructure.

Simply scanning a file isn't enough to organize, protect, and distribute it--although it is the first step. To do all that, you'll need document management software as well.

Conclusion

Scanning is powerful, efficient, and effective--but it's not all-powerful. Knowing what to expect from your scanner helps you build solutions and procedures around it--and helps you clarify which other tools you might need, too.

Want to learn more about what scanning can and can't do? Contact us today for all the help you need!