Still digging out after last week’s AIIM Conference/Info360 event, I see that my post-show observations made no mention of one of the more surprising and interesting trends in evidence there: the apparent revitalization of imaging as a leading-edge technology.
- This is ‘surprising’ because it is thought to be an established enabler of a well-understood business process.
- This is ‘interesting’ because it is being discussed and evaluated in several important new contexts.
For many, the word ‘imaging’ evokes a mental picture of someone stuffing volumes of paper through a scanner and sending the resulting file off to a local repository for subsequent use. But technology has progressed to the point where this is but one of many ways organizations can digitize, store, and process incoming documents, and some of them are far enough ‘out there’ to have reinvigorated the conversation.
- MFPs can be used as input devices … a great idea for distributed organizations that may already be using them for printing, copying, and/or faxing
- Cellphone cameras can be used as input devices … making potential users out of virtually ‘everybody’
- Cloud-based services can be used for processing and storage … thereby relieving local resources of the load, either always or just during peak periods
- All of the above, in the right combination
When to use which option – if at all – depends, as such things always do, upon your specific needs. But it’s interesting that such options now exist – further proof, in my mind, of how it’s only the tools, and not the underlying business process, that change with time.