Document Imaging Solutions

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Thinking outside the box is critical to the best document imaging solutions. Fundamentally, however, there are two approaches to digital, rather than paper-based, information management. One is working from the ground up toward a totally customized solution. The other is an off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box system for your organization. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Simplicity is key, no matter what the size of the organization or the number (or type) of records. Depending on IT specialists to manage the system is not what you're after. You want a system that can be maintained by staff with basic computer skills, not specialized programming expertise. The idea is to have an information system that will grow with the organization, not an organization that needs to grow into its information system.

Document Imaging Solutions: Examples to Follow

Among the companies and organizations that have turned successfully to electronic information systems and document imaging solutions are Memorial Sloan Kettering, the City of New Haven (Connecticut), and Kraft Foods Federal Credit Union. The conversion that NAVSEA--the U.S. Navy's largest sea command, with some 50,000 engineers on staff--needed for its training division entailed technical manuals, schematics, aperture cards, and military specifications for vessels from aircraft carriers on down.

Prudential Securities, always on the edge of technology, had a microfiche system--long the standard in document imaging solutions--in place for years. Retrieving microfiche archives, however, was cumbersome. Paper documents were still necessary. Prudential decided that turning to an outsource firm for this component of its human resources functionality was worthwhile, and it has paid off for several years. The solution offered just the right balance of data security, full redundancy, dedicated host servers, outsourced oversight, and in-house operations.

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