Data Management

Is DIY document scanning and archiving software worth it?

Before you invest in document scanning and archiving software, consider the potential pitfalls and hidden costs of DIY scanning vs. outsourcing.

Every industry is grappling with digital transformation. As our world steadily converts to digital-first communication, embraces hybrid and remote work, and dials up our reliance on AI and automation for low-grade tasks, there’s still one thing that’s hanging around: paper.

For many companies, paper records and documents — which are still taking up physical space in file cabinets and archives — are a resource drain. Paper files create unnecessary risks (security, loss, damage) and are a culprit for wasted employee time due to manual organization and inefficient data retrieval. This is why document digitization is such an integral part of your digital transformation.

Document digitization is a priority…but how are you doing it?

Document digitization may seem like a fairly straightforward process. Essentially, you’re transforming physical documents into easily searchable digital records. This involves scanning them as digital image files (PDFs) to either be stored on a computer’s local memory or uploaded to an online repository in the cloud. When followed up with a document conversion process, it’s possible to make these PDF files searchable for ultimate efficiency.

However, there’s much more in play here than a scanner and a file cabinet. Many questions remain:

  • Do you have the proper equipment to scan your files?
  • Who will do the scanning?
  • Do they have clearance to view these documents?
  • Do you have the internal resources (personnel) to complete it in a timely fashion?
  • Does your company have the right document scanning and archiving software to convert these files and make them searchable?
  • How will you label and organize the documents once they’re scanned?
  • What will you do with the paper originals?
  • Will your process be in compliance with local and federal regulations? How do you know?

With these concerns and more in mind, many companies will start asking themselves some version of the question below.

Is it better to buy document scanning and archiving software or hire a company to scan documents?

An internal digitization process has many potential pitfalls when compared to outsourcing to a professional. Getting it right is important — after all, there’s a reason you’re saving these files. So what risks are you exposing them to by digitizing internally?


DIY Document Scanning and Archiving Software

Hiring a Company to Scan Documents

  • Increases risk of human error without experts handling the process
  • May expose sensitive files — not a task suitable for an intern
  • Takes longer due to limited bandwidth for scanning
  • Increases risk of mistakes that require rework
  • Requires manual organization of digital documents
  • Reduces productivity; a distraction that takes internal resources
  • Incurs added costs for equipment, software, training, and hours of internal time
  • Supports processes with advanced capabilities and AI for 99.9% accuracy
  • Guarantees privacy and file security in the transition
  • Provides 95% faster processing than DIY without costing any employee time
  • Eliminates unpredictable slowdowns from trial-and-error or rework
  • Automates organization for efficiently structured digital records
  • Takes no attention away from other important internal tasks
  • Reduces costs by up to 50% vs. DIY


Outsourced document digitization services streamline the entire process and eliminate many of the risks. By putting your document scanning in professional hands, you’ll achieve better organization, a faster transition, more accuracy, and improved security for sensitive documents — all while saving on costs when compared to an internal process. 

How does a digital transformation partner save time and money?

There are many hidden costs when you’re relying on in-house use of document scanning and archiving software. You may need to invest in scanning equipment (and maintaining it). Then there’s internal time and training to use it, the bandwidth and employee hours you’re devoting to scanning and organizing everything, and the risk of mistakes that require costly rework or exposing sensitive information to the wrong parties.

In all, you can save up to half of these costs by trusting an experienced company to scan documents and organize them for you.

Document scanning companies leverage advanced technologies and a capacity for high-volume scanning to make your document digitization as efficient as possible. Scan-Optics can digitally transform over 4,000,000 documents a day. Furthermore, whereas an internal scanning process is not likely to be structured — except for what you manage manually — your outsourced partner can utilize AI-powered software to automate the process of categorizing, organizing, and naming your documents.

Interested in learning more about outsourced document scanning solutions? We invite you to explore the free insights on Bits and Bytes while you evaluate your options! When you’re ready, feel free to get in touch with an expert team so that you can focus on more important things than pushing paper.

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