Archives: from ink to byte

Archives: from ink to byte

The paperless move in companies and other organizations is coming to an end. It is no longer a question of reducing the use of paper, but of a total change of concept: that of 100% digital documents, going fully paperless.

For example, invoices, checks and contracts, among many other commercial documents, are not only massively made in digital form, but in many countries, there are norms that force to use them.

And not only in commercial areas. The pandemic, as an example, forced doctors to offer prescriptions, test results and medical prescriptions completely digital. Or teachers to perform assessments and grading virtually through interactive options with 100% digital documents.

This entails that there is an ecosystem of documents that were born totally digital and that were never printed and will never be printed.

Of course, the disappearance of paper implies an important environmental contribution, space saving and strong cost reduction, but also, according to Edicom, it is “a factor of competitiveness, efficiency and productivity”, and therefore “more than an option, a necessity”.

Benefits of digitization

The TechTarget site details the benefits of having a paperless office.

  • It facilitates networking, improving collaboration between people, even if they are remote.
  • Eliminates unauthorized access to information
  • It reduces errors due to process automation or illegible writing.
  • Enables the storage of discrete data for data analysis
  • Improves access to files from digital search systems
  • Improves staff productivity
  • Enables data mining and intelligent content-based routing.

One of the main challenges that the digital transformation had to overcome was the implementation of electronic data interchange that complied with security protocols. EDI (electronic data interchange) is the system that makes this possible.

Edifact, for example, is an UN-endorsed standard for the worldwide exchange of commercial documents.

The system is based on the use of a common language where different information systems can interact and be integrated into companies’ internal management or ERP systems.

EDI systems automate the generation, sending or recording of any electronic transaction, such as orders, invoices, inventories, catalogs, price lists.

Governments around the world use this type of system and require companies to use them to enhance fiscal control and optimize public accounts.

The document management market, according to data from Report Ocean taken by the site This is ardee, was worth more than u$d 5000 million in 2020, with an expected growth of 12% per year until 2027.

The implementation of document management systems (DMS) has been growing driven by the increasing need for work efficiency, the adoption of 100% digital solutions, the need for better archives and by market and government requirements.

Machine learning

The world of digital documents, however, can become complex without reliable archiving and processing systems.

Machine Learning can be fundamental so that the data digitization process does not become a cumbersome task.

TechTarget points out that the use of machine learning bots and AI-driven digitization means that companies can do more than simply scan and store files. They can create highly structured digital data that can feed machine learning algorithms that improve or inform business processes.

In addition, they remark, AI can also help archive digitization processes. And they offer the example of the company Ripcord Inc. dedicated to this work in California, which from machine learning bots scan records, extract data and send everything to the system before recycling paper records.

Although digitization generates a great advantage, there are still some problems to be faced. Among them, the one caused by the management of large volumes of digital files, and a great diversity of structures and formats.

This new reality has already been addressed by tools such as Conciliac EDM, which automates the extraction of data from PDF, TXT, CSV and XLS files, among others.

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