We are discussing digital change. Huge amounts of data are stored on computers and in the so-called “cloud”. Companies spend a lot of capital on suitable means to create real-world processes in the virtual world. And the reality? As before, 70 to 80 percent of the information relevant to us does not exist in electronic form at all.
This data does not even exist in a form that would allow it to be processed directly. Rather, it is piled up in companies as information printed on paper in boxes and cardboard boxes up to the ceiling. They are waiting for their turn to do one of the upcoming scans. In view of the abundance of materials, this is usually rather unlikely.
The box in the basement, next to the videos …
Such scenarios should actually be a thing of the past in the digital age? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! It gets even better! Even if such documents are actually finally available as a scan at some point, this does not mean that they can now be used electronically. With a little luck, for example, texts can be transported in a further step using so-called OCR (Optical Character Recognition), at least in the form of systematically usable data. But that doesn’t mean they are clearly assigned – and probably never will be.
A real problem for many companies. Because the information is needed. But so far the answer to the question “Where is my data actually?” in the vast majority of cases still: “Most likely in a box, in one of our basement rooms!” The numerous video and audio information items are also stored in the same basement, the contents of which cannot be accessed, cataloged or evaluated in their present form.
Still a long way to go
We are still very far from context-sensitive and universally applicable processing of information by means of a machine that corresponds to human information processing. Until then, more data will have been generated in an unbelievable amount. Much information will never be usable again. Therefore, companies should now take care of sensible data management. So that more and more unusable material does not accumulate – and before the mountains of files from the cellar literally grow over their heads.
Are there any solutions?
“Document management systems” is a possible solution. The corresponding service providers make good money from it, but cannot meet the enormous demand at all. That is why there are also a large number of smaller providers who sell this solution as middlemen or offer support with implementation support.
If such systems are used with the necessary effort, there is hope for the data concerned: at some point the day will come when information is generated from data on paper and context is generated from forms.