The digital age brings many challenges and changes, but also tremendous short- and long-term improvements for businesses of all sizes. One of the processes that is still improving is the digital archiving of documents. Companies are relying more than ever on secure archiving of their most important documents. Every company has documents that need to be archived.
Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) has conquered this field and is changing the workflow of more and more companies every day.
The use of AI can accelerate and standardize the digital archiving of documents. It enables, facilitates and simplifies access and use of important documents across departments and locations.
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What is digital archiving?
Digitization or digital archiving is the conversion of documents from paper to an electronic format.
There are two main reasons for the need to archive documents:
- the information contained could be needed in the future for the normal course of business processes in the company
- there are legal regulations that require documents to be kept for a certain period of time
Traditionally, documents are created on paper and stored as much as possible. Retention times range from a few days to years, depending on the specification or daily importance of the documents.
For many companies, "document archiving" means storing paper in offices, basements and other spaces where space is available.
However, information on paper is difficult to find. It can only be used by one person at a time and must be transported from place to place. All this costs a lot of time and money. In addition, paper takes up a lot of space.
Challenges in digital archiving:
Type and scope of the archive
Documents that need to be used frequently form the so-called operational archive. These documents must be easy and quick to find. On the other hand, their regular frequent use can compromise the integrity of the paper originals, threatening the loss of valuable information.
Documents that are retained due to legal requirements are rarely used, but can be very voluminous (e.g., accounting). Their storage is a challenge for small organizations that do not have the necessary physical space.
But archiving is also a problem for large organizations. There, the volume of documents is usually considerable and the space occupied by the archive is costly.
Findability of document content during digital archiving
A digital archive is not only useful for space reasons. When documents are scanned, they are saved as an image or PDF file on the computer.
In order to find the information you are looking for at all, the files must be indexed. This means that metadata must be manually added to each document. Metadata contains the information that can be used to search for the document in the future.
Without artificial intelligence, this is a lengthy and highly error-prone process.
Without specialized staff, facilities and management systems, document archiving can be a challenge for any organization.
Larger companies in particular often face the problem of organizing and digitizing their multitude of diverse documents.
Thanks to our AI software Konfuzio, in the future you will not need specialized personnel to digitize your documents and file them in a structured way. Our advanced artificial intelligence takes over these steps for you.
How are documents digitized with AI?
Digital archiving is a repository for digital material that a company wants to keep for a long period of time. It stores collections of digital information such as documents and images in a digital format. This has the intention of providing long-term access to the information.
A digital archive can be a large collection with a multi-level storage system or it can be located on a hard disk.
OCR Framework Konfuzio provides various AI-based workflows that can be incorporated into digital archives to reduce manual labor in controlling across all phases of document processing:
- Sorting and classifying incoming documents after scanning or via e-mail
- Full text search through text recognition in all relevant file formats
- Conversion to an archivable PDF/A
- Automatic assignment of documents and task distribution to your team
- Reduction of errors that can occur when manually transferring data from documents to the CRM or ERP system.
To archive documents using artificial intelligence, do the following:
To do this, all you need to do is integrate our Konfuzio software into your software and add your documents to Konfuzio's dashboard. After a short time our software has processed your documents and converted them into editable text documents. Thus, from now on, all documents are available to you easily findable and prepared for further processing.
But how do you build a digital archive for your documents?
Steps to build a digital archive
Broadly speaking, the phases of creating a digital archive for an organization can be described as follows:
- Definition of the scope of the archive (types of information and documents)
- Definition of classification attributes for documents
- Determination of the most important features to describe each document
- Assignment of access rights for each document
- Purchase and installation of appropriate AI software for document archiving.
- Our AI Software Konfuzio takes over all further steps for you fully automatically after integration into your own software. You do not need an additional document management system.
Due to the rapid development and obsolescence of technology, the integrity and readability of digital archives are critical. This requires technical and organizational measures to ensure the preservation of the information.
Paper archives, however, have some advantages. Since paper decomposes slowly, long-term readability is guaranteed. The integrity of the documents can be easily verified.
In addition, reading text on paper does not require special equipment or machines such as computers or other readers.
The solution for building an electronic archive by scanning and digitizing requires the following:
- Convert files to a long-term storage format that will not disappear quickly and can be used over a long period of time
- Saving on a medium that can be used for a long time to come
- Indexing (input of archived information into a database)
- Verification of the validity and correctness of the information
- Ensuring long-term integrity
The purpose of these requirements is to preserve the value and authenticity of your information.
Which documents can be processed automatically?
Advantages of AI-supported document archiving
The electronic scanning of documents and their storage in the form of photos or PDF files has a significant disadvantage. Individual data from these documents cannot be further processed and are not editable.
With AI, all contents of captured documents can be read and made available in searchable text form. Automatic processing of document content is also possible. This involves entering data into systems by machine, generating automatic responses or triggering other business processes.
What's more, the digitized archive is available at any time and can be accessed online. In times of globalization, remote working and flexible working hours, that's worth its weight in gold.
Security and privacy regulations can be flawlessly adhered to through AI-assisted document archiving by making information selectively accessible to individual groups of people.
AI enables automated data processing, and the sifting of documents does not necessarily have to be done by personnel.
The legal obligation that defines the retention periods for paper documents requires companies to retain paper documents for a certain minimum period. The GDPR regulations stipulate that personal data may only be retained for as long as is necessary.
A digital archive with artificial intelligence can control the automatic archiving, encryption and timely complete destruction of documents.
With AI software, companies automate a number of tedious, manual workflows. They can organize their chaotically accumulated paper documents into a secure and easy-to-use digital archive.
AI helps companies of all sizes improve how their teams collaborate, setting a new pace for their business.
Our Konfuzio software allows you to quickly archive your documents digitally without having to purchase additional archiving software. This is because our software can be installed in your existing programs.
Save yourself time resources and money by switching to digital archiving.
Digital archiving is the conversion of paper records into digital documents.
If documents are not already available digitally, they are scanned with a standard scanner or smartphone and sent to Konfuzio. In this way, invoices, delivery bills, purchase orders, payment advices, insurance contracts and many other documents can be automatically processed or automatically presented to employees for checking.
When processing documents, it is important to store them correctly in the archive so that they can be retrieved quickly and easily afterwards. The AI recognizes both the document type and the information it contains, such as sender, date or transaction numbers. Based on this automatically recognized information, the document can be automatically named and assigned. This AI recognition, together with OCR, makes it easier to find the desired document in seconds or even to process it automatically.
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