Most offices scan documents as part of their business process. Some industries, like healthcare and legal, rely on it daily. Some businesses only use it sporadically.

On its surface, scanning seems simple. A document is scanned and then converted to an electronic image. But there’s really more to it than that. Scanners usually have a number of software programs that support it. These programs are what really make the technology useful and an important part of many businesses.

We’re still quite far from a truly paperless office. And it’s the generation and processing of paper documents that can usually cause a bottleneck in regular business operations, especially when these paper documents then need to be digitized.

Here are some of the most common types of document imaging software and how they work hand-in-hand with your scanner:

Capture software: This is the most basic type of scanner-related software and is included with every device. This software enables and manages the scanning processes. It typically provides an interface with a scanner, prompting users to set up their jobs before executing them. It can be used to improve image quality and clean up messy scans. It’s often used to handle large volumes of documents being scanned. Some of the more robust capture software can be used to index and route images into document-management systems or other destinations.

Automated data capture software: Sometimes included as part of a capture software package, this software utilizes OCR and other types of text recognition to help users extract data from scanned images.

Workflow software: Once documents are scanned, they usually need to routed one place or another, usually for security or approval purposes. Workflow software can be especially effective in environments where moving paper around can be time-consuming and expensive.

Records management software: Records management software gives users control over scanned documents once they’ve been routed. From a security aspect, RM software allows administrators to control access to documents and also monitor who views a document and when, which can be especially important where regulations such as HIPAA need to be enforced. Records management software can also be used to destroy documents when they’ve ceased to become necessary.

Collaboration software: Being able to share and collaboratively edit digital documents is sometimes necessary. Scan-to-e-mail software is the most common use of collaboration software, but there are numerous other available with different levels of ability.

For more information on scanners and scanning software, please contact us.