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The Complete Guide to Digitization


The Complete Guide to Digitization

Digitization makes organizations more efficient, refining the document workflows, accelerating retrieval processes and reducing your total physical footprint.


Digitization has become a fundamental part of business today, helping organizations maintain operational efficiency even when faced with a tide of documents. Becoming a fully digitized operation doesn’t happen overnight, but the potential long term benefits are more than worth the effort. Whether you’re looking to improve your digitizing process or just explore the benefits, here’s how digitization saves organizations time and money.

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What is digitization?

Digitization is the process of converting physical assets into a computer-readable format. For example, scanning and storing ledgers of customer information into a .pdf format would be considered digitization.

Digitization typically requires external hardware to complete, such as a scanner. Digitization hardware uses specialized software to analyze, catalog, and convert physical documents.

What can be digitized?

Digitization involves scanning and storing photos, media, and documents, including records, books, manuscripts, periodicals, and items in similar categories. The scanner or service you use determines the variety of documents you can digitize. For instance, flatbed scanners allow for single-page processing and are excellent options for thicker or more fragile documents. Meanwhile, an overhead scanner can capture pages from a book as they’re flipped, making scanning hundreds of pages more efficient.

Other media types, such as CDs and DVDs, can be digitized without scanners, which usually entails converting the files on the disc with software.

Key benefits of digitization


Physical document retrieval can be time-consuming and often lead to issues such as document loss. Digitization allows companies to access digital documents almost instantly from a database.

Edit and enhance documents

Optical character recognition (OCR) is a staple feature of modern scanner software. OCR converts physical documents into fully editable digital copies. You can then load those documents into Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, or other software tools for touch-ups.

Free up space

The digitization of physical documents reduces the total footprint of your business, allowing you to put the saved space to use in other ways.

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. 

Want to learn more about the basics of digitization? Check out our full blog, “What Is Digitization?”


What is data digitization?

Data digitization is digitally processing information so that it can be accessed independently from the original physical medium. Data digitization is sometimes referred to as information modernization or data abstraction.

How to digitize your data

Digitization services

Many companies will offer bulk data digitization services that turn information into a large, easily searchable library.

Digitization products

If you have a smaller workload, you’ll want to consider using a digitization product, such as a scanner, to translate physical documents into a digital library.

Why should I digitize my files?

There are many benefits of file digitization including workflow efficiency and information preservation. Physical files are at constant risk of damage, decay, and mishandling. The secure, digital, and infinitely reproducible nature of digitized documents makes it unlikely that a document will be erased from existence, especially if you store digitized files in a cloud server.

For a complete breakdown of the principles of data digitization, read our blog posts, “What Is Data Digitization?” and “What is the Digitization of Files?”

How records digitization improves operational efficiency

Key considerations

Records digitization ensures that you’ll always have a quality copy of a document, but also improves operational efficiency, making it easier to retrieve, catalog, and store records thanks to digital libraries. Here are some key considerations to make before setting out on a records digitization journey:

  • What problems will record digitization solve?
  • How long will you keep digital records?
  • How many resources can you invest in digitizing records?
  • How and where will digitized records be stored?
  • Are there legal requirements for digital documents in your industry?
  • Who will oversee the digitization of records and archives?
  • Who will have access to digitized records?
  • What departments in your organization will be affected by the change?

Key benefits for records digitization

Improve efficiency

Government digitization shows how moving to a digital format can improve operational efficiency. It allows citizens to access public documents from a database without visiting a physical location. The same retrieval strategy applies to businesses, which may work with as many documents as government offices.

Reduce human error

Transferring physical files can be time-consuming, costly, and prone to human error. Destroyed physical documents can be impossible to recover, resulting in legal or financial trouble. However, you can recover lost digital documents in most circumstances.

Smaller physical footprint

Physical documents must be stored somewhere, typically in an on-site record room. Digitization can reclaim some of that wasted space, allowing you to leverage the additional room for other activities.

To learn more about how records digitization improves business, check out our guide, “How the Digitization of Records Helps Organizations Stay Efficient.”

How digitizing the customer experience unlocks growth

The digitization of documents doesn’t solely benefit internal processes. It can also improve customer-facing processes, creating a frustration-free environment that positively affects retention and customer experience.

According to Statista, the three leading causes of frustration with customer service in the US are lack of effectiveness, lack of speed, and lack of accuracy. Digitization can solve each issue, enabling customer-facing employees to access documents more efficiently.

Key benefits

Create a scalable company

It’s easier to scale a digital business than an analog one. Physical documents must be kept in record rooms, and organizations with multiple locations will face massive barriers if they rely solely on physical documents kept in a central location. Digital documents can be retrieved remotely, and hard drives take up a fraction of the space that physical document boxes do.

Lower operational costs

Improving operational efficiency is a surefire way to increase profit margins. Compiling digital databases of customer records is one of the easiest ways to achieve efficient processes.

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.

Which elements can be digitized?

According to a study performed by Harvard Business Review, complete customer satisfaction is the key to securing customer loyalty and generating superior long-term financial performance. Customer behavior makes taking a holistic approach to the digitization process essential.

Any physical documents produced while working with a customer should be digitized and stored for later use, including receipts, service orders, and transcripts. The more complex a transaction is, the more that you should digitize. Extensive digital cataloging can be particularly useful for correcting procedural errors, such as an incorrect SKU causing inventory discrepancies.

For a deeper look at the benefits of digitizing the customer experience, read our blog, “How the Digitization of Customer Experience Unlocks Growth.”

Companies that help with digital transitions

Digitization companies can convert documents to digital formats en masse, overseeing the process and ensuring that your catalog remains organized and accurate.

Companies that help with digital transitions

Caso Document Management

Caso Document Management’s certification with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), indicates that its practices meet AICPA’s security standards, thereby making it a formidable solution for financial services organizations.


Docufree helps law offices handle the countless documents they interact with daily, allowing them to minimize security risks and space investments. The service is certified compliant with standards such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS.


SecureScan is a leading provider of digital transition services for government offices thanks to its encryption and password protection processes. With more than 20 years of experience, SecureScan has provided services to the New York State Insurance Fund, the NYS Department of Health, and the New York State and Local Retirement System.
For more information about leading digitization services, read our full blog “5 Digitization Companies Helping Enterprises Transition.”

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fi and SP Series scanners

Those in the market for a high-speed document scanner to assist with digitizing records 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 Series 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.

If you’re looking to tackle digitization without a service, we have a solution for you. With options for organizations of every size, our scanners are here to help you tackle the logistical challenges of digitization as quickly as possible.

Click here to learn more or shop our scanner line.