While the move to digital records has been concentrated and largely effective, there are still plenty of industries that rely on paper records and forms for everyday business. Often, the information from these paper records must be put into the digital file retention system for various reasons, and that is why high-volume document scanning is likely to remain relevant long past the end of legacy archive digitalization.
If you are wondering whether a scanner is the right investment, it helps to start with a review of your industry. If you are in one of the high volume sectors for paper record production, then it’s probably a good idea to keep updating your office scanners.
Law firms and their outsourced support services still need to digitize a lot of records because case files are often submitted in paper form. There are a lot of reasons for this, ranging from legacy records being all that is available to attempts to slow down or frustrate opposition research during discovery. The ability to scan, index, and search those paper data dumps is vital to the success of many firms. It’s not likely 11×17 scanners will ever die out in law firms, given the nature of the work.
While healthcare records are largely digital to make sharing information across care providers simpler and more secure, medical offices still generate a lot of paperwork from their day-to-day operations. Patient intake forms, including self-reporting of symptoms on paper forms, is still very common and likely to remain so.
The public sector is still a sector of industry, even if it produces services and not goods. Government offices at all levels use paper records and forms for a lot of items, especially in political offices. It is worth remembering that this industry includes not only state, local, and federal political sites, but also many functional services like military installations, police stations, and social security offices.
Architecture and Construction
Paper documents are still very common in the design stages of building projects, especially when those projects utilize unique architectural designs. Document scanning is likely to remain popular here because so many rounds of revision are done collaboratively in face-to-face settings, then added to the digital plans after the fact.
If there is one industry that is unlikely to ever totally ditch paper records, it would be the world of professional accounting. Not only is it frequently easier to present numbers in situations where people can review their own copies by hand and make annotations, it is also easier to check for transcription errors and other issues by hand in many cases.
On top of that, receipts and records from outside sources are unlikely to become completely digitized any time soon. The result is that any firm that regularly handles the finances of outside parties will have to contend with a lot of information from those parties, and at least some of it will be on paper. Remaining competitive means developing systems for integrated, easy-to-search records that bridge the gap between the two, and that is what high-volume scanners are designed to do.