Where do you keep your most important possession? Maybe it’s in a safety deposit box, a safe in your house, or kept on your person at all times. If there was a way to ensure that it was kept safe from all theft, disasters, or physical harm of any kind, wouldn’t you go with that?
This same type of logic should apply to the way you handle any information at work that you’re afraid of losing. You wouldn’t keep the contents of your savings account stored on the back corner table of a Burger King. Don’t store your information on paper files locked (or even, in some cases, unlocked) in a file cabinet where they can get lost, misplaced, stolen, burned, flooded, or otherwise rendered unusable. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Among the plethora of reasons to scan and store documents electronically – cost, productivity, and storage space, to name a few – also reside security and compliance. I think many people are of the opinion that if they can no longer hold their files in their hands, they’re lost to them and out of their control, but this isn’t actually the case. Not only are electronic files safe from physical damage, they can be password protected, encrypted, and authenticated with electronic signatures. If anything, you have MORE control, because you can manage electronic documents in ways that you can’t with physical. In spite of this information, a survey published by Fujistu reported that a measly 21% of respondents were using document imaging and scanning systems to digitize their information for safe keeping.
In addition, 29% said they had no security of any type set up for their physical files – no locks, no secret passwords, no guard dogs or booby traps or sentries or anything. This, my friends, is dangerous. You should at least have a bell or something. Fate should not be tempted – it really has no self-control and gives in quite easily.
Likewise, foresight is incredibly obnoxious in that having it is oftentimes important if not crucial, but a lot of times it’s very difficult to tell when you need to use it, and you only really appreciate it once you’ve started kicking yourself for ignoring it. This is one of those rare instances when foresight is figuratively shouting in your face, “Scan your documents!” Take advantage of this instance.
It’s especially important to heed this advice when you’re one of the 55% of respondents in Fujitsu’s report that said they have no plans in place for the recovery of their paper files in the case of a disaster. Another 10% said they were scanning documents locally into just their PCs, which may or may not be entirely helpful if said disaster is something like a tornado or a fire. If this hypothetical data catastrophe occurred, 65% surveyed said they would be in moderate to severe trouble when it came to restoring their lost information, and only 7% said they had a solid plan for that.
Data security and recovery is becoming increasingly important as more and more data piles up within organizations. In addition to cutting costs and easing the management, distribution, and storage of your information, document scanning also acts as a safeguard against disaster. Gain control over the security of your information. Don’t leave the integrity of your documents to the whims of fate; it’s kind of rude sometimes. For more information on document imaging and scanning systems, download our case study below – “Seminole County Cuts Costs By 40%.”