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Many sectors have found that their film and other hard copy storage methods are becoming outdated in this increasingly digital society. Paper, cassette tapes and microfiche were once not only the most popular ways to store data, but also some of the only ways to keep it safe. But as the world becomes more focussed on digital forms of working, these outdated storage methods are becoming less and less used so are often being lost along the way.

Although it can often seem like the information stored on these little used formats is gone forever due to the equipment needed to read these devices becoming hard or expensive to come by, this information doesn’t have to be lost in the digital translation.

Pearl Scan, the UK’s finest document scanning and management expert, has emphasised the role that existing technology can play in ensuring the important information stored on these now outdated methods is easy to access. And for most, the best way to do this is to look into scanning.

“Microfiche and document scanning can breathe new life into old files,” said Naveed Ashraf, Managing Director at Pearl Scan Group, said. “Readers for these old ways of storing data are becoming increasingly hard to come by, whereas computers are extremely common and relatively cheap. So it only makes sense that the data on these outdated devices is brought right into the 21st century with scanning.”

Technology can also help to take this one step further. OCR software can be applied to the scanned images to make them fully searchable, while the documents can also be made available on an open source document management software, such as Pearl Scan’s very own Halogen or even uploaded to a secure cloud-based service.

By undertaking document scanning, companies are able to update their storage methods, keep data secure, make information easier to access, share and edit files quickly, save space on storage and even reduce costs.

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There’s no denying that data is what makes the business world go around. And in a world that is reliant on technology to get everyday tasks done, businesses need to embrace digital processes – or risk being left behind, according to document scanning expert, Pearl Scan.

The company, which has assisted businesses all over the UK make the switch to a digital workplace, has warned firms that are yet to make the jump, that should they wait much longer they run the risk of being overtaken by competitors and perhaps being left at a point of no return.

Naveed Ashraf, Managing Director at Pearl Scan Group, said, “In a time of increasing uncertainty in the business sector as a result of the impending Referendum, and the start of a new year, now is the ideal time for businesses to start looking at their current offering, analyse what competitors are doing and look at ways they can streamline, increase production and save money to ensure they can continue to be at the top of their game.”

Moving from paper to digital offers incredible cost-savings which can then be used to fund other digital transformation initiatives, while embracing digital documents and digital document management allows files to be delivered as a hosted service on the cloud. Inevitably offering organisations the opportunity to cut down on storage costs and time wasted searching for documents, the savings seen can be company-defining.

The move towards digital has also been proven to support organisations in a number of non-monetary focussed ways. In addition to cost savings, moving towards digital processes offers organisations the opportunity to streamline management procedures and make it simpler for employees to find the information they need, when they need it, while also offering them the opportunity to deliver a better customer experience. Unlike with paper documents, customers are able to interactively engage with digital files, while companies can personalise them depending on customer preference and package purchased.

In an era where data breaches pose a significant risk, there has been a lot of talk about the security risks associated with digital data, resulting in companies being under an increasing amount of pressure to ensure their data, and in particular, their customer data, is secure. But digital documents offer security advantages for businesses that in this day and age are highly valued by customers. Digital documents can be protected in numerous ways, with encryption and secure networks for example, allowing companies to digitally transform while giving peace of mind to customers and enabling them to reap the benefits from day one.

“Despite security concerns, the future of business is undoubtedly cloud storage,” added Naveed. “Operating a cloud-based workplace correctly actually offers increased security for business and customers, while also bringing a myriad of other benefits, such as increased collaboration between staff, flexibility for workers and disaster proofing.”

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In a world where data breaches are common, it has never been more important to ensure the safety of sensitive and confidential data.

The legal industry is one of the most at risk sectors in the world to data breaches due to the incredible amounts of paperwork required – and of course the important information these documents contain.

Although there is no way to guarantee the safety and security of information, there are steps you can take to safeguard documents going forward. And one of the best ways to do this is to make the switch to paperless processes.

Moving the legal sector towards a more technology-focussed way of working can help to protect this information from being lost, stolen or damaged. Turning physical documents into digital ones can also help to keep it away from prying eyes – something which is always a concern in the sector – by ensuring they are protected with passwords or encrypted.

For those firms looking to move towards a digital way of working, the whole process starts by essentially scanning in all of the paper documentation into a specialist system to ensure they are all kept in order. Once this has been done, these documents are then available to view, edit and delete – just as they are in physical format – but with the added peace of mind that they cannot be misplaced, lost or stolen. It is then up to each individual whether they want the paper documents returned – or whether they would prefer us to dispose of them, securely.

Aside from the security benefits, legal scanning can also help improve productivity.

As mentioned above, the legal sector is one of the most paper-heavy in the world. Case files, interviews, documents and transcripts are all often recorded on physical paper documents, meaning that those working in the sector often have to sift through reams and reams of paper to find something they can use. Essentially, it is often like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Pearl Scan Legal was developed in 2011 in order to meet the needs of the legal industry going forwards. This dedicated arm of the Pearl Scan Group is aimed at providing a comprehensive and safe document scanning and management solution to enable it to move forward and be more efficient.

Our legal scanning service and legal document management solutions have become extremely popular with law firms as a way to streamline their workload, improve their efficiency both inside and outside of the office, save considerable amounts of time and money, and of course make sure these documents are kept secure forever.

To find out more about our legal document scanning solutions, click here.

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Here in the UK we have been pretty lucky up to now with the weather this winter. Aside from a few frosty mornings and a few downpours, most of us have got off lightly. But with winter still in full force, it’s unwise to take the weather for granted. And when you run a business, that is even more important.

So how can you make sure your business is in the best position, should disaster strike?

Eliminate or reduce paper processes

Although many organisations have embraced the paperless resolution, there are still many that rely on paper processes every single day. Not only does this affect the day to day runnings of a business, but it can also spell disaster should something happen – such as a flood or fire.

Switching from manual, paper documents to electronic ones is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t lose important documents and information should disaster strike.

Find out more about our document scanning services, and how they can help to transform your business.

Back up documents to the cloud

Once you’ve moved to a digital way of working, it’s time to back up your documents to a cloud-based platform, as even electronic documents are vulnerable to damage as a result of a flood or fire.

Documents that are hosted however will always be kept safe should your workplace be damaged – and what’s more, there’ll be accessible from anywhere with an internet connection!

Find out about our simple cloud-based software, Pearl Cloud.

Make it easy to access documents and software outside the office

Should bad weather mean you can’t get to the office when you desperately need an important file, contract or contact information, this can be disastrous. But using a remote access piece of software, like Teamviewer can make this a thing of the past. It allows you to access and use a computer, from another one, as if you were sat directly in front of it.

We can never be certain when disaster may strike – or if indeed it ever will. But all businesses, no matter what sector, can take steps to alleviate their risk and make sure the show can go on no matter what.

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Going paperless using a document scanning service is one of the most progressive and beneficial steps you can take for bringing your business up to date, and there are a number of benefits that you’ll begin to notice as soon as you make the switch. If you’re a business considering document scanning in London, here are five things that happen immediately after going digital:

Your working environment will be cleaner and tidier

Imagine how much less clutter you’ll have loitering around the office without stacks of paperwork clogging up shelf and desk spaces. This will make for a more streamlined atmosphere overall, but it will also make keeping everything clean a much simpler, quicker process as you won’t need to move documents around and worry about replacing them in the same order. Bins will no longer be full of discarded notes and will need emptying less frequently.

Your energy bills will be smaller

When using document scanning, you will notice that your printers will be used less and photocopiers and fax machines become virtually redundant. Appliances such as these are a huge energy drain and, especially for SMEs, the impact of not using them could be considerable. You’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint. The average tree produces around 8,000 sheets of paper, so when you consider how much paper your business used to use, you can get an idea of how many trees you could potentially be saving with a document scanning service.

Your working day will be much faster

Paper documents are easy to mislay and misplace, and finding the right sheet can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. After going digital you’ll eradicate all those frustrating hours spent hunting for physical copies of information, as everything will be stored safely and organised in a way that makes it simple for you to access exactly what you need.

Your workforce will be more efficient

Digitised documents can be viewed remotely and can be shared with as many people who need them at any one time. Staff won’t need to waste time scanning information to send to clients, or worse, having to post it out to them, which also runs the danger of misplacement. Digitisation makes everything happen faster.

Your auditing process will be far simpler

Even small businesses will have guidelines to follow regarding compliancy, and if you outsource your accounts you’ll also see an immediate benefit from going paperless. You can give each document relating to your invoices or bills a unique number, which creates an audit trail that is simple to keep on top of. You will also be able to keep a history of any amendments such as payments.

To enjoy these benefits yourself, learn more about the document scanning services in central London offered by the team at Pearl Scan online. 

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