The Process of Digitization: How Physical Media Becomes Digital Collateral

The Process of Digitization: How Physical Media Becomes Digital Collateral

Document digitization makes organizations leaner and more efficient.

The digitization of documents is an effective way for businesses, medical facilities, and other office environments to improve both operational efficiency and the customer experience. For it to have its greatest impact, organizations need to plan each step of the process of digitization carefully, taking care to ensure that they’re properly organizing data and implementing secure storage and retrieval protocols.

This guide will help maximize the effectiveness of your process of digitization, explaining how to process standard document types and detailing the benefits that digitization can offer your organization.

Read The Complete Guide to Document Digitization discover the benefits of digitization, get process recommendations, and much more.

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What is the process of digitization?

The process of digitization is the collection, scanning, and cataloging of operational documents that an organization may traditionally keep physical copies of. Patient records, HR paperwork, receipts, and financial records are all good candidates for digitization. Digitization carries numerous business benefits, including:

  • Faster retrieval of documents for both internal and client facing-applications.
  • Lower risk that a document may be permanently destroyed or irrecoverable.
  • Reduction or elimination of physical storage space.
  • Lower risk of documents being accessed and abused by bad actors.

How do you digitize documents?

The act of digitizing documents is, in itself, fairly straightforward. Organizations use a scanner to digitize and store documents either on-premises or to a cloud service. To start, gather and organize all of the documents that need to be digitized. Systematically working through pre-organized stacks of documents can speed up the process so your employees have more time to dedicate to other tasks.

Once documents have been scanned, they’ll then need to be sorted, named, classified and time-stamped. For more effective organization, documents can also be optical character recognized and tagged for meta-data. Most scanners have software that helps with this portion of the process. Your organization should ensure that stored documents are in an easily understandable hierarchy, and that sensitive pieces of information are secured, either in folders with restriction or encryption. Digitization is a perfect opportunity to ensure that the only people with access to files are those that need it to do their jobs.

How to scan different types of documents

The specific procedure and equipment you need will depend on the type of documents you’re digitizing. Here are some of the most common examples to consider.

Standard documents

Documents on letter or legal paper will be the easiest to scan rapidly. Your organization will want to pick a scanner that scales to its operational needs. For instance, a large legal office might need to invest in a scanner capable of processing thousands of pages each day. Reliability is also a factor. Choosing a high quality scanner will mean fewer jams and rescans, speeding up the process of digitization.

Did You Know?:The fi-8170 can scan up to 70 pages per minute and 10,000 pages per day. Click here to learn more.


Digitizing books is most efficient with an overhead scanner. Rather than going through the strenuous, repetitive process of adjusting opening and adjusting a flatbed scanner, using an overhead scanner will allow you to keep a book in place, scanning each time you flip a page. An overhead scanner isn’t best suited for the kind of documents that can be fed through automatic feeders, but can be a boon if your organization needs to digitize ledgers, visitor books, or similarly bound items.


Accuracy is important for any scanned document, but it’s vital for scanning IDs. There are dedicated ID scanners for organizations that are regularly performing ID card scanning tasks, though standard office scanners will suffice, so long as they have the correct feature suite. You’ll want any scanner that’s being used for IDs to feature OCR (optical character recognition) for data extraction, as well as rotation and deskew functions for ensuring quality scans.

Did You Know?:PCMagazine described the fi-8250 as a “...well-made and capable sheetfed/flatbed combo scanner ideal for front desks, small offices, and workgroups.” Click here to read the full review and learn why it earned an “excellent” 4.0 out of 5 rating.

Our recommendation: fi Series scanners

Those in the market for a high speed document scanner to help with the process of digitization have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP Series scanners.

Our line of scanners has been engineered with quality and speed at the forefront of each decision, so you can rest easy that you’re getting the top-tier product that your organization needs to get the job done. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our scanner line.