Wednesday 29 March 2017

Digitizing Documents – The Key to Avoiding Disaster

Posted by at 10:06 AM

Your business experiences a fire that damages your document storage areas.  Or water damage destroys your file storage area, or a natural disaster destroys your entire facility. 

What will you do to restore business operations and access the documents that are critical to the day-to-day operations of your business?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. Is your business currently at risk?

Document integrity

The old ways of storing paper copies of business documents just aren’t enough today.  In addition to the risks unforeseen events pose, original copies of documents are at risk of deteriorating.  And the old-fashioned backups like microfilm and microfiche don’t provide protection as too they degrade over time, are antiquated technologies, and cost a lot to maintain.

Digitizing is the answer

Digital documents that are backed-up to remote data storage take the fear out of losing critical paper documents to disasters or other unforeseen events.  There are also a number of other compelling benefits digital files provide:

  • Increased efficiencies – reduce employee document search and retrieval times, enable multiple users to simultaneously access documents from multiple locations, and accelerate customer responses.
  • Decrease costs – stop purchasing file cabinets/folders/paper, recover office space allocated to file cabinets, and save the time of searching for lost or misplaced files.
  • Information security – assign and manage user access rights, have audit trail reporting, and protect against theft of personal information.

Why not?

With so many compelling reasons to digitize documents, why are there so many companies that don’t?  Below are some of the most popular reasons we’ve heard.   

  • “That won’t happen to our company.”  Is this a risk you can take?  Whether it is natural or man-made, the threat of disasters is real.  Something as simple as a broken water pipe can wipe out. 
  • “We don’t have the budget.”  What is the value of your information?  Many businesses have taken action to redirect current spending and invest in digitizing their documents instead of allocating dollars to producing paper documents, microforms, and maintaining antiquated technologies.  Based upon the activity level of accessing your documents, investments in imaging services can present an ROI of less than two years.
  • “Not a company priority.”  They are your intellectual assets!  Many business do recognize that they do need to do something, but how to get started and why?  The primary drivers are:  out of space to store paper documents, media degradation, threat of natural disaster, or the need to create staff efficiencies.  Develop a strategy that addresses your economics and moves you forward towards a paperless office and then implement it.
  • “I need access to the documents.”  You can plan for this!  Your implementation strategy should include how paper files will be available during the scanning process.  Documents can be delivered a number of ways:  scan-on-demand services, courier services, secure email, or download documents via a secure web portal.

For many businesses documents are the life blood of their workflow.  Having your information in digital form provides you with piece of mind knowing they are protected, and provides the added bonus of efficiency and cost savings.