Going paperless? Look for more than a scanner.

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I was at a conference the other day and ran into a dutiful young lady (I’ll call her “Jill”) who, at the direction of her well-intentioned boss, had taken the initiative to make her office “paperless”. She scanned every piece of paper from every file cabinet, and voila… nobody could find a single document they were looking for.

The reason: going paperless takes more than just a scanner and a desire to digitize carbon.

Any attempt to go paperless without properly indexing the content of documents, and having a tool to search, categorize, and organize the resulting digital files, is the electronic equivalent of tossing the contents of your old metal filing cabinets up in the air – you won’t find a thing.

Jill found out the hard way that scanning documents and storing them in folders leads to disaster. Good for her, I was able to point her in the right direction for a document management system.

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