By 2025, the total volume of data produced globally will reach 163 zettabytes (equal to 1 trillion gigabytes). Most of this data will be made and managed by businesses, writes Arpan Bansal, Global Head COE (Govt.), Newgen Software.
The growing volume of documents being generated by organizations across verticals, be it government, insurance, banking, and others, presents a strong case for effective document processing. Furthermore, the COVID-19 outbreak requires organizations to opt for touchless, digital document processing to enable continued business operations with remote access to documents and information.
Digital Document Processing – The Need of the Hour
Businesses need to adopt a comprehensive digital document processing strategy to foster a remote working environment, enable intelligent document processing, and unlock hidden insights from the documents. The key components of the strategy are:
Digital document processing system – A software that imports, digitizes, stores, and manages information, and enables collaborative processing of paper and electronic documents
Cloud deployment – A system that is ready to use and accessible from anywhere
With a digital document processing system, organizations can streamline operations, enable a paperless work environment, and make workflows more efficient. The system can enable users to process documents anytime, anywhere while ensuring information security.
Core Components of the System
An ideal digital document processing system should enable:
Importing – The solution must support the multi-channel intake of documents and different document types, including scanned images of physical and electronic documents, stored in the server or a hard drive, or any documents sent via e-mail
Indexing – It is important to index documents in a set format for accurate processing and easy search and retrieval
Processing – The solution should support multi-step processes where documents flow from one step to another, along with the attached metadata and actions
Storing and Delivering – Organizations need to ensure that documents are stored in a centralized repository with proper indexing, allowing for easy information search and retrieval
Hosting on Cloud – Cloud deployment gives flexibility and ensures business continuity, allowing users to process documents anytime, anywhere
5 Key Considerations While Implementing the System
While implementing a digital document processing system, organizations need to be wary of the below points.
Document Repository Structure
Organize the repository as per the organization’s departmental structure. All departmental documents should be stored under the respective departmental entities. Business documents should be organized based on the lines of businesses (LOBs).
Indexes are used to associate metadata with documents and folders so that organizations can easily locate the desired information. For instance, for the account opening process, documents can be associated with the following index fields:
Date of account opening
Similarly, a typical file in a government office contains multiple documents (correspondences from various government departments). So, the file will have below folder-level indexing:
And, a document (correspondence) within the file will have indexes such as:
Date of Receipt
Received From (Department)
Date of Document
Type of Correspondence
3. Document Processing
The system should offer a maker-checker capability for which, users must define the role of maker and checkers so that documents are auto-routed, facilitating seamless processing.
4. Search Operation at Document and Folder Level
Easy access to information is one of the main value-adds of a document processing system. When selecting a system, ensure that it supports:
Search using business indexes
Search using a combination of folder and document indexes
Search using native attributes
Easy search – simplified search with filters and sorting
5. Permission Access and Administration
The system must ensure secure access to the repository so that only intended users view, add, or modify documents. This can be facilitated through restricted access permission capability.
A user group should be created for each department or LOB. It is advisable to grant access permissions at the level of user groups, rather than users. Also, setting access permissions at the folder level will simplify the management and maintenance of documents.
Apart from the above list, the platform should offer features that deliver operational benefits such as user personalization, document versioning, check-in/checkout, and others.
It’s time for organizations to overcome the challenges faced in transactional document processing and move away from manual to digital. A touchless and easy-to-deploy digital document processing system that allows for efficient processing, remote working, and secure access to information, is what every enterprise needs – to be future-ready and resilient to any unprecedented situation.