To Back-scan or Not to Back-scan: That is the Question


For any company going through a document management overhaul that involves moving to a predominantly electronic content management system, there is one looming question—do we back-scan all of our past documents?

What is back-scanning?

Back-scanning is the process of digitizing all physical paper documents by going “back” and “scanning” every essential material in a company’s possession. This process allows the company to have a completely digital version of their database.

Why might I not back-scan my documents?

Your company may be dedicated to a future with many fewer paper documents—allowing for the ability to easily search, share, and organize files from the comforts of a computer with access to a relevant database. Though you’re dedicated to a future of electronic document management doesn’t necessarily mean you need to back-scan the past. Here’s why not:

  • It may not make sense to back-scan if you don’t regularly interact with past documents, but instead only need to maintain possession of them for legal or “just in case” reasons.
  • Back-scanning is an arduous process, requiring many worker hours or shelling out large sums to a third-party document imaging specialist company.
  • There’s no need to disrupt the storage of these physical documents, as the necessary filing cabinets are not taking up space needed for other purposes.

Why would I want to back-scan my documents?

There are occasions when your company may want to go ahead and back-scan all documents whenever moving to a more computerized document management system.

  • Your company has to regularly access past documents in a timely fashion and/or transfer them to a customer or other third party.
  • Your company is committed to becoming completely paperless. While this is a drastic step for any company, it would necessitate a completely back-scanned document library.
  • Your company can no longer physically store these documents due to space, legal, security concerns.

Why to Scan Some & Not Others

The decision to back-scan or to not back-scan certain documents does not have to be an all-or-nothing decision. Many companies may choose to back-scan documents relevant to certain a date in the past. Others may opt to only back-scan documents based on their frequency of use or other specific criteria.

Need Help Deciding?

If you’re a company located in the Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area and need help deciding whether or not to back-scan your documents or which documents to scan, the electronic content management professionals from JD Young Technologies can help.

Learn more about the Electronic Content Management services from JD Young today.