So what is the difference between scanning and digitizing? They may seem quite similar, but there are some important differences.

In this blog post, you will discover more about what the differences are between the two, how each works specifically and the positive benefits to each method.

What is the difference between scanning & digitizing?

Scanning and digitizing are often mentioned interchangeably, but they involve two different technologies that are similar and work with each other in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Both of these are involved in the process of creating digital documents from paper, however digitizing helps create documents that you can edit, as well as other benefits. Scanning documents doesn’t do this. Scanning is an important first step of the process that can be used alone or in conjunction with digitizing documents.

What is Scanning?

When you “scan” a document the scanner is basically creating a digital image of it in a JPG (Joint Picture Expert Group) or PDF (Portable Document Format) format. This means that you just have a photo or an image of a document. Using a traditional scanner is best, but there are ways to use your phone for this if you want to.

What is Digitizing?

A digitized document is often scanned first to create an image and then additional processing happens to make the image more useful. Usually this involves converting it to individual letters and characters with OCR (Optical Character Recognition). This makes it possible for the document to be edited easily. Another part of the additional processing may involve tagging the document, which makes it easier to search for and track it in an automated retention tracking system.

The Big Benefits Of Scanning

Scanning documents has several advantages, some of which are that it’s more secure, economical, saves time, money and space compared to physical paper documents.

Faster Workflow

Scanning paper documents improves how you work in many ways. This can include saving time filing, collaborating with others and working remotely.

A document management system or DMS can tag and organize the scanned files using parameters you give it. This has the advantage of giving you the ability to organize, manage and share these files easily.

Saves Resources

You can save both time and space which can significantly increase the cost savings too. This is especially true if you are storing your documents in a high-rent area. In addition, you can also find papers much faster if your scanned documents are well-organized, which gives you more time to spend on more important business goals and enjoying time with friends and family.

Another great advantage is that having less paper and filing cabinets means you have more room for employees and they can help you make more money for your business.

Easily Achieve Greater Security

When you digitize by scanning, it can make it much easier for you to find your files which lessens the chances that files will be stolen, lost or damaged.

Automatic backups will also save you from accidents or disasters and give you a greater sense of security. You can store backups in the cloud, or off-site for an even greater sense of security and peace of mind.

Biggest Benefits Of Digitizing

Using OCR Technology

OCR, or optical character recognition, is one of the biggest benefits to fully digitizing your documents. This is usually done at the same time your documents are being scanned. It involves converting the characters on the page to digital characters recognized and encoded by the computer.

This has the additional benefit of encrypting the document. It also makes the document potentially more useful, as it can easily be edited and changed as needed.

Digital Document Protection Systems

These are often called redaction systems because they can block or protect any private data that a document contains. These systems make the process simple, easy and secure. Many paper redactions use ink and can be removed by very skilled thieves. A digital redaction is so much more secure because it’s permanent and cannot be physically removed. It modifies the document so that it’s as if the sensitive information was never there.

Automating Retention Tracking Process

DMS systems are used to configure medical files in order to keep track of their legal retention times. They can help you make sure that this important information is not lost and can also make managing the record retention times easier to help you avoid fines and other penalties.


If you are still not sure about digitizing, we can help! We have a free checklist that will help you decide if it’s right for you and your business. Just click the link below to get your copy now!

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You can do it all yourself when it comes to digitizing or scanning documents, but if you don’t have experience it can be much more difficult to achieve the results you want. There are several obstacles that may make the process more difficult for you. In addition, it may be hard for you to properly secure your documents once they are digitized if you don’t know what you’re doing.

When you hire a professional to help, they can help you save time, use proper security measures and make sure all of the software and hardware work together seamlessly. A professional, like TecKnowCare, can help make the process easy.