With the continual introduction of new information technologies and increased reliance on cloud-based information storage, it might seem like physical records are an outmoded form of data and how to best store them is a problem whose time has passed. But the truth is, even in an age ever more focused on electronic data, actual paper copies of documents and records are still vital sources of information, and decisions made regarding how to store them can be vital to a company’s success. Here, courtesy of Rashmi Madhvani, managing director at Office Loro, are some reasons physical document storage remains important:
- Security: Despite extensive measures taken to protect critical digital data, the simple fact is that anything stored on a device that can be accessed through a computer network has the potential to be corrupted. Each year, there’s news of companies, individuals and governments who fall prey to online intrusions, and there’s nothing that can make electronic data 100 percent safe. On the other hand, physical documents are much harder to gain access to, alter, delete or steal. Someone who requite actual physical access to the storage facility to remove them, and changing the information within – something that can be fairly easy to do to electronic documents – is virtually impossible when dealing with paper forms.
- Conservation of paper: Though it seems counter-intuitive that saving paper documents in great quantities would actually reduce the use of paper in an office, that’s often the case. For one thing, outsourcing your storage needs to a reliable provider of records management storage means those files are no longer cluttering up your company’s facilities. What’s more, electronic files rarely stay strictly electronic. In most cases, when someone needs to access them, they’re usually printing them out for ease of access, which leads to multiple copies of the same files being printed over and over.
- Secure storage, secure destruction: By outsourcing physical records storage to a reliable provider, you can be sure that the documents are being stored in a manner that is both compliant and secure, with all necessary precautions being taken to ensure their safety. What’s more, when it’s time, for whatever reason, to have those documents destroyed, the company will be able to do so using a variety of methods, including secure pulp-mastication and the certification of shredded materials, offering proof that the documents have, in fact, been destroyed.