6 Reasons To Store Your Data Electronically
Data storage is a key component of a successful business. All the files currently being processed in accounts payable, expense reporting, and other departments need to be stored somewhere you won’t lose them. Written policies, budgeting records, and other frequently used files have to stay easily accessible. And you’re also keeping records of files no longer in active use for tax purposes, legal reasons, and to help you plan for the future.
The longer your business is around and the larger it grows, the more data you’ll be storing. If you’re storing this information on paper it’s going to start taking up large amounts of space. As you keep accumulating paper, storage costs go up, it’s harder to find files you’re looking for, and the files take up more and more space.
Digital storage is the alternative. But is that the best choice for every business? And just why is digital storage considered so much better than paper? Keep reading to get the answers to these questions and learn more about how electronic data storage can work for your business.
Does It Really Matter How Your Store Your Data?
Data is an important asset in any business. And for some companies, it’s one of your most important assets. The way you store this data matters.
Paper files meet the minimum requirements for data storage. You can keep the important files on-hand and if they’re organized carefully you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. But that’s about it. Paper gives you a way to store data, not use it. You can look up the data and analyze it to budget, forecast customer demand, and answer other needs in your business. But the storage system doesn’t do anything to make those tasks easier.
Digitizing your data storage lets you store large volumes of data in less space than paper would take up. And you can go beyond simply storing the data. Electronic data storage also makes the data you’re storing easy to search and use. When you’re using a top-quality electronic data storage and document management system, it’s simple to analyze the data and leverage it for your business.
Is Electronic Document Storage Good For Every Business?
In today’s world, the importance of data storage makes going digital a best practice for every business. Even if you want paper versions of some documents on file (some states require you keep hard copies of certain documents), there should still be a digital version of them as back-ups. If you’re still not convinced digital is better than paper, ask yourself these questions:
- How would you recover files if a fire, flood, or other disaster destroys the papers?
- Do you have enough room to store seven years worth of tax records?
- Is the time, storage space, and effort involved in maintaining a paper filing system cost-effective?
- Can you find specific files quickly when needed?
If you’re not quite sure how to answer those questions, electronic data storage offers an easy solution. Your digital files are at less risk of damage and can easily be recovered if need be. Storage space is no longer an issue. The cost in overhead as well as in employee time is minimal compared to the hassle of maintaining large amounts of paper files. And finding a file is a simple as performing a key-word search.
Going digital is the most efficient way to record and store all the data flowing through your company. And digitizing your records is also an essential step in moving toward the elusive goal of a paperless office. Whether you opt for on-premise servers or rent cloud-storage from another company, digital document management is more environmentally friendly, takes up less space than paper and is easier to search, copy, and save.
Why Should You Choose Electronic Data Storage?
Here’s some more detail on five great reasons to store your data electronically:
1) Electronic Data Storage Is More Efficient
Storing documents electronically lets you maintain records while taking up less physical storage space. You can start using the system to store incoming documents electronically as soon as it’s set up. And you’ll also be able to scan old documents into the system to free up space and make them more accessible.
If you store the data at your company, servers take up less room than the number of filing cabinets needed to store an equivalent amount of data on paper. And if you outsource your cloud storage, you won’t use up any physical storage space. The company hosting your storage maintains all the servers. You’re renting space from them without worrying about maintaining your own servers.
2) Electronic Storage Protects Data
If you’re storing data in paper form, a single disaster can destroy years worth of records. Because paper is fragile, a fire or water leak can quickly ruin documents. And in many cases, there’s no way to recover the lost data.
Electronic data storage lets you backup and protect important information automatically. While digital files can be lost or destroyed, the risks are much less than with paper files. And since digital files take up so little space they can be backed up in multiple locations so if one version of the file is lost it can be recovered easily.
3) Digital Data Storage Is Secure
Security is a big concern for businesses storing data electronically and/or online. Some companies prefer to maintain their digital files on in-house servers so they can personally oversee security.
However, any reputable data storage company you work with is committed to providing you with the best cybersecurity possible. In fact, they can often provide better security than you can in-house because they specialize in protecting electronic data.
4) Electronic Data Is More Accessible
Storing information digitally lets you track data more easily. You can search for specific records with built-in search tools and sort data to make it easier to find. With just a few clicks, the information you need is at your fingertips. The increased visibility also allows for simple reporting and streamlined audits.
You can also access cloud storage from anywhere on any device as long as you have the right passwords. Take your business on the go and share information throughout your company in a simple, efficient way. Everyone you want to have access can see your data, but no one else.
5) Data Storage Scales To Your Needs
Don’t worry about overpaying for storage you don’t need or having trouble finding places to store new data. Electronic data storage scales to your needs. Buy only the storage you need and upgrade easily when you need more space.
This is another great reason to opt for outsourcing your cloud-storage over maintaining your own servers. Outsourcing the storage makes it easier to scale up or down as your business needs change. You won’t have to pay to update your own servers and your IT department doesn’t have to worry about installing or maintaining them.
What’s The Best Way To Store Data Electronically?
There are a couple ways your company can implement digital data storage. Either you’ll be setting up in-house servers (hardware storage) or hiring a service provider (cloud storage). Both cloud and hardware storage keeps your data on servers. The big difference is whether the servers are located in-house or at another company.
For in-house hardware storage, you’ll have direct control over the servers where you’re storing data. That lets you control privacy and access. But it also means you’re responsible for maintaining the servers themselves, upgrading and expanding as needed, and for making sure the data stays secure. It will increase the workload for your IT department. And if those servers are damaged, you’ll lose the data unless you have it backed up in a second storage center.
With cloud storage, you’re much more flexible. You’ll be giving up direct control over how your data is stored, but you won’t have to maintain the servers yourself and you can upgrade your storage plan at any time without hassle. And you’ll be able to access the data and work from any location as long as you have the right passwords. Security of your data is the biggest concern. If you choose a reliable service provider, though, they’ll have the expertise to keep your data safe.
How Can You Find A Reliable Service Provider?
If you’ve decided to go with cloud storage, then the next step is to find a reliable service provider. You want to find a service provider that makes it easy to
- Encrypt and secure your data
- Search for a specific file or group of files
- Process any type of document
- Access and use the system
NextProcess’ Document Management System lets you digitize every type of paper document and store them in a secure electronic format. Our user-friendly system enables full-text search so any document you’re looking for is just a few clicks away. We don’t charge fees for additional user licenses. Plus, users with the right permissions can access the system from any internet-enabled location. Our system gives you complete control over your data while lightening your workload and simplifying data storage. Contact us today if you have any questions or if you’d like to see a demo of our system.