Despite the overwhelming digitisation of almost all elements of the modern office, many businesses still rely on physical storage for critical documents. This reluctance to digitise might stem from concerns over the security of digital platforms, an overreliance on legacy systems and processes, or an unwillingness to wear the costs of implementing a solution. All these concerns may have been valid five years ago, but recent advances in digital document storage platforms have made the case for investing in digital storage watertight.
Increased organisation and searchability
One of the most significant advantages of digital document storage is the ability to organise your files in a far more systematic way than is possible with physical storage. Physical storage requires manual sorting and labelling, which is both prone to error and difficult to change once a document’s been filed away. Digital storage allows for more sophisticated folder structures and document tagging processes, which makes your files far more searchable and retrievable. Enabling easy access to critical information can unlock significant operational efficiencies.
Data security and privacy
Perceptions of increased security risks has historically been one of the major stumbling blocks for organisations moving from physical to digital storage. However, storage solutions such as SecurDocs employ increasingly sophisticated security protocols to minimise the risk of a data breach. These platforms use encryption, comprehensive and customisable access controls, two-factor authentication, and backup measures to safeguard against cyber-attacks and accidental data loss. The security of these platforms now far exceeds what’s possible with physical storage, which remains vulnerable to theft, accidental damage, fire, and flooding.
Compliance and auditability
Digital storage makes it far easier for businesses to comply with industry standards and government regulation around data security and privacy. For example, if a business is required to delete all customer records that are more than seven years old, this would take a huge amount of time and effort to sort through filing cabinets in a physical storage room. With a digital solution, you can implement a policy to automatically delete these records once they hit the seven-year threshold. If you’re subject to a data security audit, a digital storage solution allows you to clearly demonstrate the access, storage, and data security policies you’ve put in place, while creating auditable records of who’s accessed what and when.
Mobility and accessibility
With many businesses both relying on international workforces and moving to hybrid working models in response to Covid, it’s become essential that documents be available through digital channels. Digital document solutions allow teams in different locations to collaborate more effectively, not only by making documents available wherever they are on whatever device they’re using, but through version controlling and backup functionality.
Reduced environmental impact
Moving to digital document storage can substantially decrease your environmental footprint by cutting down on paper usage, decreasing energy consumption, and reducing the amount of physical space required to operate your business. With the increased focus on corporate social responsibility and legislative requirements around environmental impact, moving past physical storage can be an easy way to make your business greener.
Along with the cost benefits of cutting down energy and paper consumption, digital document storage reduces the need for physical infrastructure, and the associated purchase, rental and maintenance costs. Eliminating storage rooms opens up new potential desk space and allows you to use your physical premises more efficiently.
All of the changes in the global business and technological environment that necessitated the move to digital document storage – decentralised workforces, increased volumes of data, cyber-risk etc. – are only going to heighten over time. Delaying the shift to digital document storage will only increase the costs of migration when the time comes to do it, not to mention the costs of maintaining physical storage in the interim. Now is the time to be thinking about what you can digitise and how to do it.