At the core of any organization’s success is how well they manage data. Not only must companies comply with privacy laws and government record-keeping regulations, but critical information must be easy to access while remaining secure. Failing to do so can lead to severe consequences, including legal issues, theft, hefty fines, inefficiencies in daily operations and profit losses.
There’s a lot at stake, which is why document management should be at the forefront of every business, regardless of size or industry.
Read on to learn more about document archiving and why your organization should consider off-site storage for your critical files.
What Is Document Archiving?
Document archiving is the practice of relocating static files from the workplace into secure storage. These paper documents no longer require regular access (hence the term static) but must be kept in case they need to be referenced in the future.
Static files are different from active or dynamic records because the data is fixed and unchanging, making them ideal for archiving. Archiving documents is also an ongoing process that manages and protects paper documents and digital copies throughout their lifecycle. This process is different from backup data, which is a temporary procedure that acts as a designated recovery point for lost or damaged digital documents.
Are Paper Documents Still Necessary?
In our increasingly digital world, there is a push to reduce paper and prioritize digital documents; however, physical records still hold a great deal of merit.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Paper records are not susceptible to cybersecurity threats and hackers when kept secure.
- A paper copy is an essential backup in case of data loss or hardware failure.
- Certain documents can be challenging to digitize.
- For some businesses, having paper files may be the most effective way to manage critical documents.
What Are the Different Ways To Archive Documents?
There are three main storage options for document archiving, whether your business manages paper or electronic files (or a combination of both):
Paper storage is when documents are stored securely off-site with a document management service. This solution is common for businesses that must retain important documents following a retention schedule to maintain government regulations and legal requirements. When active documents are needed, data is readily accessible with secure transport and delivery.
Digital storage is when important documents are digitized using a scanner. Once electronic versions are created, businesses can securely destroy unwanted original paper copies to save physical storage space.
Scan-on-demand storage digitizes records on an as-need basis. Physical documents are stored off-site with a storage provider, and authorized employees can request to have individual documents scanned and sent to them electronically using document management software, ensuring near-real-time digital access to physical files in storage.
What Are the Benefits of Archiving Documents?
Archiving provides small businesses and large organizations with many benefits:
Storing documents off-site keeps confidential files, whether tax documents, invoices and receipts, certain financial records or client/patient data, safe from a security breach, frequent handling and theft. Document storage facilities ensure that only authorized personnel have access to archived documents and follow strict security measures to manage user access, track edits and control passwords.
Storage Space Savings
Storing important documents on-site uses expensive office space that could otherwise use for revenue-generating activities. Businesses must also invest in supplies to organize records, such as filing cabinets, document storage boxes and file racks. As new documents are acquired, companies must make necessary adjustments to meet growing storage requirements, which also increases expenditures. On the other hand, off-site document storage can reduce costs and allow organizations to scale operations without finding or funding the cost of additional square footage.
Protection From Natural Disasters
Document archiving companies have proper climate control, fire protection and pest control measures in place to prevent damage or loss of archived data when in storage. Additionally, should a workplace experience an unexpected disaster, such as a fire or flood, archived business documents remain safe and easily accessible in a secure location to ensure continuity.
Improved Workflows and Efficiency
Document storage increases the accessibility of information assets, making it easier for employees to use data quickly and confidently. Information accessibility also helps employees be more organized and productive, allowing them to focus on revenue-generating activities and perform job requirements more efficiently.
For most businesses, including medical, legal and financial organizations, archival documents are a crucial part of a document management system. Strict regulations require ongoing compliance with privacy laws pertaining to the management and accessibility of confidential data. When paper documents are stored within the workplace, they are more likely to be forgotten or neglected, which causes compliance issues. On the other hand, records management services are better equipped to manage retention periods to comply with government regulatory requirements, maintain an audit trail and avoid fines.
Document archiving is an affordable solution that only costs a few dollars per file box each year. Businesses only pay for the document archive storage space they use, which is more cost-effective over time when considering employee wages, depreciation of storage equipment and ongoing maintenance costs of in-house document management.
Trust Blue-Pencil For Your Archives Storage Needs
Whether you are a small business owner or a large corporation that wants to create a new system to manage your files or store documents digitally, Blue-Pencil’s document archiving service is an ideal solution. With pricing as low as a few dollars per box each year, your organization will save space, reduce costs and have easier access to confidential data without compromising security or failing to comply with regulatory requirements.