In today’s digital-driven world, organizations and individuals are in a hurry to transform their physical records into digital ones. This might appear to be a logical step forward. 

However, rushing into a digital conversion project without appropriate planning might create unexpected challenges. Prior to jumping into the complex world of digitization, it’s essential that you take a moment to contemplate some pivotal questions.

1/ What Made Me Want To Do This?

The first question you have to ask yourself before you digitize your records is, “What made me want to do this?”.

Light bulb creating sparks

Just as you probably wouldn’t get in your car and start driving around without a destination or reason, the same logic applies to scanning conversion projects. There should be a solid reason why you’re planning to convert your records from analog to digital. 

If you haven’t clearly thought out the reasons for digitizing your records, it’s wise to take a moment and reconsider before rushing forward. We love digitizing records for our clients, but it would be unfortunate if you ended up unhappy at the end of the process for a reason entirely unrelated to the quality of our work. This might happen if you didn’t truly need the digitization and it ended up being a waste of money. 

Remember that digitization isn’t always the best answer for every scenario. There has to be a solid “why” propelling your actions and guiding you in the right direction.

2/ What’s My Desired Outcome?

So, you have a reason why you want to scan. You have something that has motivated you to take this step, but what’s the desired outcome? What’s the end state? What would be considered “success”? 

Essentially, by the end of the project, when can you sit back and say, “I’m happy. We reached the goal. This is a success.”

Close up of an arrow in the bullseye of a dartboard

Anyone can start prepping and scanning, transforming records from hard copy to digital. But similar to a car journey, if you don’t have a destination, any direction will get you there. With digital conversion projects, you want to have that end goal in mind or, even better, written down. It’s essential to communicate this with your scanning partner, so they have a clear direction and vision of where this project needs to go. This allows them to create the processes required to guide you to that state of success.

It’s not just that a project may end up poorly if there’s no definition of success or a desired outcome, it probably won’t even get started. If you don’t have an end goal, you’re not able to create the necessary steps to get you along the way, to guide you on that path to the final product. 

Even if, let’s say, you’re working with a scanning partner and they try to get started by offering their own recommendations. If you don’t have an end goal in mind, and they keep recommending ideas and options, you may keep changing your mind. This results in a continual shifting of courses and drains resources, time, and sanity from everyone involved.

3/ How Will I Achieve This?

Having a reason to digitize is fantastic and knowing the desired outcome or success state is excellent. But how do you get there?

Football X's and O's on blackboard

There are an unlimited number of ways to approach your digital conversion projects, and it will depend on whether you’re doing it yourself, or you’re working with a scanning partner. If we assume you’re working with a scanning partner, how they achieve your goal is dependent on their methods, their processes, and, importantly, your input. Every company will have its unique way they conduct business, but your input, recommendations, and collaboration are going to be crucial in achieving the desired outcome. At the end of the day, you’re the one paying for the project and will be utilizing the digitized records. 

There are several things you should consider. For instance, what is the timeline? How complex do you want the digital files to be organized once they’re scanned and converted? How frequently do you want the communication to be with your scanning partner? These are all decisions you need to communicate to your scanning partner. After all, you are the one who will be using the digital products, so it’s critical that your preferences are well communicated to your scanning partner. Their ability to adapt and work with you contributes to the success of the project.

4/ Is Digitization Necessary?

Last, but certainly not least, is the necessity of considering whether digitization is truly necessary. We understand that you have a compelling reason for the undertaking, know the outcomes you desire, and are aware of the roadmap to get there. 

However, it’s crucial to ask: do you really need to scan your records?

Woman shrugging her shoulders in a "I don't know" gesture

This final question is critical because, even if you execute everything flawlessly but then do not utilize the digitized records or find they’re not really needed, you’re still expending resources unnecessarily. This could be time, effort, and finances that could have been allocated elsewhere. While digitization is beneficial and we assist people in accomplishing it day in and day out—observing its positive impact on numerous companies and organizations—it’s essential to ensure that it’s the right decision for your particular organization before proceeding.

Closing Thoughts

Embarking on digital transformation requires sound planning and effective decision-making. By centering these pivotal questions in your digitization journey, you’ll be able to navigate the complex process smoothly, and successfully shift from physical documents to a digital platform. Keep pushing your boundaries, and soon, the path to digital transformation will appear less intimidating, and more aligned with your end goals.

Next Steps

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Further Reading

5 Vetting Questions For A Document Scanning Service
How do you choose who you’ll choose to work with for your document scanning project? In this article we’ll give you five vetting questions that should get you started on the right foot.

Digitization Is Not A Magic Bullet
Digitization can be a game-changer for your organization and create incredible data effectiveness and employee productivity. But it’s not a magic bullet. Read about the 5 myths and 6 benefits of digitization to guarantee the success of your digital conversion project.

Striking The Balance Between Efficiency & Security In Digitization Projects
Explore the advantages of efficiency and security in digitization projects, how they intersect, and strategies to balance them when you decide to digitize.