How to Reduce Document Storage Costs Through Digital Transformation
Small businesses are getting smarter about managing their document storage costs.
Reducing document storage costs can be a real boon for businesses, especially smaller businesses who need to be extra careful with their cash flow. Digital transformation offers many benefits to businesses of all sizes including the opportunity to reduce document storage and retrieval costs.
The Quest for a Paperless Office
While a completely paperless office may not always be possible, it is still smart to try to get your business as paperless as it can be. Sure, you will still have paper records that are valuable and need to be stored but for most organisations, digital records make more sense and handle many typical issues.
The most common issues, besides document storage costs, include:
- large amounts of office space being taken up by filing cabinets and boxes of papers and files – if your office happens to not have enough cabinets.
- Lost or misfiled documents.
- Limited access when someone else has a document that is needed by multiple personnel.
- General inefficiency in having to get up and search through cabinets and files to find the relevant document.
- Reduction of productive time usage due to the above issues.
Three Steps to Reducing Document Storage Costs
1. Digital Transformation Process
The first step to any digital transformation project is to take an inventory of all your current documents and records. While this process may appear to be painful and time-consuming, it can and will unlock many untold benefits for your organisation.
With some luck, a large percentage of your documents will have been ‘born digital’ and this will reduce your workload. However, your paper documents must still be assessed and added to your inventory.
Once all your documents have been accounted for you will need to decide on a metadata standard to be used to identify and categorise your documents. Once done, you will be in a position to start the scanning process and finally convert your paper documents into digital ones.
A professional digital transformation partner, such as Iron Mountain South Africa, will make light work of the conversion process and allow you to continue building your business.
2. Secure Document Storage
Once your documents and records have been digitised you will be able to gather all your most valuable paper documents and have those securely stored.
In general, your most important records that must be kept will be a small fraction of all your paper documents. This means you may be able to safely dispose of the majority of your documents knowing that you still have digital copies.
Utilising a professional records management company who utilises purpose built storage facilities is important to properly safeguard your records. While self storage facilities may seem like an attractive inexpensive option, they are simply not built to the same safety standards and they will put your documents at risk.
Moving your most valuable paper documents to an offsite storage facility is also a great way to free up office space. More office space can often mean more productivity if utilised correctly.
3. Secure Shredding Process
Paper documents and records that no longer need to be kept or have no legislated retention period or organisation need for remaining in paper format can now be disposed of. The best way to dispose of paper records is to make use of a secure shredding service such as those offered by Iron Mountain.
Once your documents have been shredded you will be presented with a Certificate of Destruction. This certificate will prove that you have destroyed your documents in an appropriate manner and help you to remain PoPI Act compliant.
Partnering with Iron Mountain South Africa
South Africa’s records management leader, Iron Mountain offers a wide range of highly secure document storage solutions for businesses large and small. Contact us today to find out about the right solutions for your organisation and enjoy greater peace of mind.
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