From a predominantly agrarian economy, we have been transitioning to a modern industrial economy. This throws new challenges in the sphere of governance as well as the day –to-day operations taking place in the corporate world, SME space and the upcoming Start-up sector. Organizations are built on communication with various stake holders, right from customers, employees, vendors and many more leading to the inflow of paper documents. As business correspondence increases, paper documents seem to attain higher volumes which tend to get unmanageable over a period of time.
The challenge before all offices is not only the management of paper work but also e-documents. It starts with storing invoices, emails, receipts and documents on the desk/desktop or even in files and folders (online or offline) in an ad-hoc manner. In no time, this piling of documents may build up a mountain, where their retrieval may consume the most productive hours. Systematic arrangement (manually) of these files not only consumes time and space, but also their retrieval is taxing and may hinder productivity. Also a huge amount of costly office space gets blocked for the storage of these paper documents.
Across the globe billions of paper documents are produced every day. Many of these documents are read once, filed and forgotten about. Almost 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper, while an average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. To produce a ton of paper, 15 – 17 green trees are cut and the current rate at which paper is consumed is enough to bring down the limited forest cover in India at 21.23% to a single digit figure.
E-governance being viewed as a crucial objective by the government right from the onset of the year 2000, the concept of paperless office has gained topmost significance. In 2014 the government issued instructions to the ministries to fast-track adoption of e-Office to phase out the use of paper. In December 2015, Delhi government took the plunge towards paperless offices to implement e-office in all its departments. The move was mooted to eliminate the paper-based system as it takes time to create, search and transfer files from one department to another; realizing that paper files are at a risk of being stolen or burnt. Contrary to these considerable efforts, the demand for paper and printing is on a rise in the country. The paperless office debate has been going on for two decades now, but hasn’t yet been a reality.
There are reports showing the reduction of paper usage across enterprises. However the culture of stacking paper documents in large office spaces persists along with the difficulties in their retrieval processes.
Digitization can bring scalability in various functions across industries.
Documents when digitized and managed, can drastically ease out processes involving stakeholders and customers and also make a huge difference to the conservation of forests. Digitization is one of the top trends in major industrial sectors, namely finance, communication, logistics & supply chain, health, education and transport.
A simple, reliable, responsive and secure Document Management System can bring in a radical change in the working of an organization, irrespective of the organization size. In simple words, a Document Management System (DMS) is a system that brings in efficiency and ease of management of documents by storing, saving and tracking digital documents. DMS stores documents, making it easy to combine digital and paper documents- physical documents are scanned and digital formats are imported.
An advanced DMS ensures the security of documents along with playing a key role in their retrieval. As businesses become increasingly reliant on IT for end to end processes and to interact with stakeholders, a secure document management system is key in enhancing end to end transactions at workplaces. An advanced DMS can help organizations increase productivity by considerable reduction of manual intervention, save time, operate in multiple locations, support remote workers, meet compliance requirements, reclaim office space and solve a wide range of business problems. Additionally, one may even do away with threats and security issues like the occurrence of natural calamities or thefts, by virtue of a secure DMS. Sophisticated Document Management Systems today, provide services such as massive storage, auto categorization of files and electronic records, usage of search features as well as easy retrieval of documents. If an organization adopts digitization by virtue of an advanced DMS, the usage of paper for documentation can be cut down from negligible to Zero!
Document management is essential in all sectors- Commercial Businesses, Banking, Non-Banking Finance & Insurance, Government & Non-Government, Education, Healthcare, Research & Development, Construction and many more. The demand for outsourcing document management needs is growing at a rate of 50 per cent specifically for BFSI and telecom sectors. With the integration of sophisticated DMS, digitization is transforming industries, labor markets, and the global economy.
Global Trends in Document Management
Organizations across the world are moving towards the adoption of a paperless office space and the concept of Go green has been topping priority lists. Corporates worldwide have travelled a lot in this regard. Technologically advanced countries have 80 percent of their processes converted to digital. Also laws in these countries recognize the need for conservation of ecological resources and thereby, support the process of digitization. Cloud based DMS is widely accepted and implemented globally. However cloud DMS is subjected to limitations in terms of security, incur huge cost and follow cumbersome process of retrieval.
In India, though the governance is turning towards digitization of documents, the demands of the legal system to retain physical documents as a mandate need to be replaced. Metro cities especially where there are space constraints, integration of a document management system, as advanced as Digidocs will help largely in enhancing the ease of work flows.
Back in 2003-2004, the US government came out with a law for all the hospitals and medical entities to keep only electronic medical records for their patients. With this there was a demand for digitization for storage of documents. Looking at this demand we developed the software that could store any medical paperwork and retrieve them according to the doctor or the patient while decreasing the human intervention significantly during the scanning or the entry process. Hence, DigiDocs evolved out of this latent need.
DigiDocs is the first ever Document Management System and workflow solution matrix that allows the auto-categorization and retrieval of documents in the most efficient way. It is a cutting-edge Enterprise Document Management and Workflow Solution system, which brings to the fore, the concept of paper free offices realistically. DigiDocs based on the concept of EARTH- Eco-friendly Application of Resources and Technology for Humans, facilitates the entire replacement of traditional paper documents and files in offices. Digidocs has been copyrighted under the Berne convention, which makes it world’s first ever document workflow matrix to allow auto-categorization.
Retrieving information and data is one of the most imperative parts of any process operation. This involves facets such as time, accuracy as well as integrity of records and information, affecting the whole process in terms of resource, labour and money. DigiDocs is built on Google’s Tesseract technology, which possesses superior OCR tool and image detection capabilities. With its Linux core and PHP front end, DigiDocs has no perimeter in its scalability and customization. These features synergize effectiveness and efficiency of supporting services across organizations, thereby providing extensive tools and techniques for data retrieval too.
As conscientious citizens, we need to build consensus on reducing the demand for paper to save nature. To achieve this, we necessarily need to move to a paradigm in which new technology can be leveraged to do away with paper in managing offices. The fact that it increases the working efficiency tremendously, is just icing on the cake.
Pratik Jhaveri | The writer is the CEO of Ksmart Group, Mumbai