Scan to Cloud: Benefits and Best Practices

What can an organization do with all of its paper documents? How can a workforce that is increasingly remote share those pieces of paper that are physically stored in a central location?

The solution is to scan those physical documents directly to a cloud storage service. Scan-to-cloud technology makes it easy to digitize paper documents and store them in the cloud where they can be shared with other team members, no matter where they're working.

Understanding Scan to Cloud

Scan-to-cloud technology does exactly what the name implies – it scans hardcopy documents directly to cloud storage. Many multifunction printers (MFPs) have scan to cloud built-in so that scanning to the cloud is as easy as making a selection on the printer's touchscreen display. Other scanners can scan to cloud storage via software installed on the connected computer.

Workers can scan to the cloud from scanners in the office or their home MFPs. They can scan documents to all popular file formats, including Microsoft Word (.doc), Excel (.xls), and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), and send them to all major cloud storage services, including Dropbox, Google Drive, and Office 365.

Benefits of Scan to Cloud

How can scan to cloud help your organization? Manufacturing businesses can streamline their paperwork, improve customer service, and better ensure regulatory compliance. Legal firms can consolidate their storage, more easily search past records, and better cross-reference documents. And educational institutions can improve collaboration, increase productivity, and ensure more accurate record-keeping. Also, all organizations can realize the following benefits of scan to cloud.

Automated Document Flows

Instead of manually shuffling paper documents from one location to another, scan to cloud enables you to send documents automatically to the appropriate parties immediately on scanning. For example, systems can send scanned invoices automatically to the company's accounts payable department and send scanned expense reports to the HR department.

Project Routing and Tracking

You can automatically route scanned project documents to the necessary parties, in the proper order. Project leaders can track where a document is in the process, who currently has it, and who needs to see it next. It makes for easier project management and document control.

File Search and Access

Gartner Research reports that the average professional working in a professional field spends 50% of their time looking for paper documents – and takes an average of 18 minutes to find each document they're looking for. It's far easier to search, and access files scanned into digital format. No more rifling through file cabinets to search for that one paragraph on page ten of a fifty-page report; you can easily locate any piece of information via simple digital search.


Auditors need to find specific information that might be buried deep in a company's files. Digital information storage makes the auditing process easier and faster. Scanning all relevant documents also makes it easier for any company to comply with industry and government regulations.

Document Backup

Paper documents have no backup; if a fire or other catastrophe hits, you could lose all physical records. It's estimated that half of small and medium-sized businesses would go out of business if lost data could not be recovered. Scanned documents, however, can be easily backed up to another location in the cloud. Nothing is ever lost when electronic documents are stored in the cloud.


Cloud storage services employ strong security measures to ensure against unauthorized access and data breaches. It's much more difficult to steal digital documents than it is to break into an office and steal paper documents.

Best Practices for Document Scanning

If you're looking to use scan to cloud to digitize your organization's documents, follow these best practices for document scanning.

Shred All Hard Copies

After documents have been scanned, shred the paper copies. Don't just throw them in the trash; shred them so thieves can't steal them.

Connect Directly

Connect the scanner directly to the network via Ethernet, not via a USB connection. This allows for faster throughput and higher efficiency.

Employ Batch Scanning

Manually scanning one document after another is time-consuming. Instead, look for a scanner or MFP with batch scanning capability to handle large quantities of documents in a single batch.

Use a Document Management Service

The easiest way to scan large batches of documents to a cloud server is to use a document management service, such as that offered by James Imaging Systems. A document management service handles all the labor and technology involved with scanning and managing documents and does so in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Turn to James Imaging for Document Management Services

James Imaging Systems has been providing document management services to Wisconsin businesses since 1977. We can handle all aspects of your organization's printing and document management activities – including scanning documents to cloud storage.

Contact James Imaging Systems today to learn more about scan to cloud and document management services!