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Digitalization: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn about the trends, tools, and solutions bringing businesses into the digital present

Transitioning to a fully digital business may seem like a futuristic endeavor. But modern tools and practices have made digitalization necessary for many enterprises. Upgrading to the next generation of business processes won’t be an overnight transition. It will, however, yield dividends for decades to come.

The process of digitalization will affect every aspect of your business. Here are the definitions, trends, tools, examples, and strategies you need to know to maximize your benefits while minimizing downtime.

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Digitalization: A Practical Definition


Digitalization means upgrading your company’s analog workflows into digital ones. It includes changing business models to open new opportunities for value. Encompassing digitization and digital transformation, each practice builds upon the last for transformative impact.

    3 terms to know:

  • Digitization is the process of converting physical assets into digital ones.
  • Digitalization is the process of changing workflows from analog to digital.
  • Digital transformation is the process of changing a business to become technology-forward.

Benefits of digitalization

Better operations

Digital document management helps workers quickly organize documents by content and tag. This indexed information allows near-instant access to key info. These types of improvements are a common benefit of digitalization.


Stronger security

Data on an encrypted network gains protection. Login credentials help limit access to protected data. Automatic audit trails show who has accessed files or made changes. Automated backups allow for instant rollback in case of data loss.


Lower costs

Digitalization also reduces your use of expendable resources. Paper, printer toner, envelopes, and postage all quickly add up in expense. While digitalization may incur up-front costs, it will likely save you money overall.

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Digitalization Trends to Capitalize On

More businesses are leaving their analog processes behind every year. Every company is different but certain trends are worth watching to determine where your own enterprise should head next. Just ensure you apply the proper scrutiny to each before jumping on board.

    Incorporate digitalization trends that…

  • Boost your sustainability.
  • Lower operating costs.
  • Help you meet modern customers’ expectations.

Digitalization trends that could help your business

Machine learning

This field of artificial intelligence plays a big part in digitalization. It can streamline the translation of analog documents. It can also help organize databases. And it can do it all while decreasing overhead.

Internet of Things

Connecting physical objects to an internet network enables remote access and automation and can decrease the time spent on manual tasks. It can also make data management easier.

Distributed scanning

This process allows many physical stores of data to be fed into a digital archive at one time. It helps companies with large archives work through backlogs quickly. It’s also referred to as decentralized scanning.

Digitalization Tools to Modernize Your Processes

Digitalizing the way your company works is a big job, but you don’t have to do it alone. Many digital-first services can slot into existing workflows to make an instant impact with minimal disruption. How do you know which tools will be right for your business? Start by researching these recommendations.

    Look for digitalization tools that…

  • Address a specific business need.
  • Maximize efficiency.
  • Fit your budget.

3 tools to digitalize your business


Accounts payable automation can have a massive impact on your business. In particular, ABBYY’s AP automation helps speed up invoice cycles even as it improves security. Its low-code/no-code design also makes it easy to implement and optimize.

PaperStream NX Manager

This tool allows IT managers to control many digitization devices on a single network. It minimizes user errors and even allows for remote settings adjustments. PaperStream NX Manager also helps keep important documents secure.


PaperVision Enterprise

Enterprise content management software helps centralize materials. PaperVision Enterprise stores documents in one searchable place. It also works with hundreds of file formats. It can be hosted on a single PC or across a global network.

Did You Know? The fi-7300NX is an easy-to-use network scanner that’s ready for the cloud. It can scan 60 pages per minute and works via USB, Wi-Fi, and ethernet connection. Click here to learn more. 

Digitalization Examples to Inspire Your Transformation

The relationship between consumers and companies has changed in the last decade. If you want your company to keep up with new demands, start by looking at companies helping to lead the digital transformation. Here are three examples to get you started.

    How to get ahead in digitalization

  • Find a vertical to disrupt.
  • Connect with customers.
  • Invest in the best tools.

3 digitalized industries and how they got there


Uber began with its co-founders unable to find a cab one snowy night in 2008. The rideshare app was operating in 100 cities by 2014. This transformation also led to taxis moving to upfront pricing, mobile pickup and return for U-Haul, and many more.


Dine-in or take-out? That was the extent of your dining options for most eateries 10 years ago. The growth of DoorDash and its competitors rewrote the book. Now you can get delivery from a range of restaurants, some of which only do business through the app.


Amazon, and its impact on digital commerce, needs no introduction. But the next wave of online specialty retailers is changing the playing field too. Think Warby Parker’s stylish but affordable eyeglasses and Purple’s mattress delivery.

Building Your Digitalization Strategy

Ready to start plotting out your own digitalization process? You’re in good company. 74% of global companies rate digital transformation as a priority. That’s even higher than customer experience for many. But to ensure your transformation goes smoothly, you’ll need the right roadmap. Here’s how to get started.

    A digitalization strategy should…

  • Be a formal business plan.
  • Incorporate digitization elements.
  • Build on a digitalization framework.

Essential aspects of your digitalization strategy

Digital vision

Digitalization leaders must have a clear vision of what they wish to achieve. This can take the form of a brief vision statement that lays out what the transformation will look like. It should align with existing strategies wherever possible.

Performance targets

The next step is to plan for accountability. Select key metrics that will reflect your progress toward digitalization. Go beyond revenue and profits if possible. Higher productivity is a great indicator of a sustainable transition.


Cast a critical eye over your existing processes. Which areas could obviously be improved with digitalization? Which are worth investigating further? Which are fine as they are? Team members with IT expertise will be especially helpful in answering these questions.

Find more steps to take toward your digitalization roadmap in How to Get the Most Out of Your Digitalization Strategy. 

Did You Know? The fi-7700 features a 300-page hopper for fast digitization. Its double-letter-sized flatbed supports safe and speedy scanning for larger documents. Click here to learn more.  

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Our recommendation: fi and SP Series Scanners

Those in the market for digitalization tools 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 of scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi and SP scanners are capable of processing tens of thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

To digitalize your company’s processes, you need tools you can trust. The range of fi and SP series scanners will help bring your documents, and your company, into the digital present. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.



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