Although many organizations have already adopted a digital transformation strategy, the truth is that the majority of businesses still create, manage and store some amount of paper documents. In fact, the average business worker uses about 700 pounds of paper per year, with a significant portion of that paper winding up in files that must be saved for the length of their retention period.
From historical archives and paper-based records to magnetic tape and computer hard drives, the amount of information your business creates can be difficult to maintain. For small businesses that are working with a smaller team in more constricted office spaces and on tighter budgets, storing important information can be especially challenging.
Investing in a self-storage unit may seem like an inexpensive and convenient option, but it is not the best or most cost-effective solution long-term. There are inherent security risks associated with self-storage. Open ceilings and minimal security protocols in many self-storage facilities can lead to theft, as well as leave your small business vulnerable to damage due to fire, flooding and more. What’s worse, with self-storage, your employees will waste valuable time transporting physical records to and from the unit, as well as searching for documents when they need them most.
Instead, partner with a records and information management (RIM) partner that will keep your physical records in a secure off-site storage facility. Not only will this help protect your valuable information, but it will improve your business efficiency, allowing you to work smarter and better.
An off-site storage facility offers security for all your data and records. State-of-the-art surveillance systems and advanced electronic data security features will prevent hacking and data theft, while climate-controlled vaults will help preserve your documents for years to come. For additional security, many RIM providers offer media vaults and underground vaults for an extra layer of protection. These facilities are designed to withstand catastrophic events such as natural disasters and fires.
Organize your physical and digital files in a clear, consistent organizational structure to eliminate clutter, save valuable office space, reduce the need for continual maintenance and improve overall productivity. When you put your files in secure off-site storage, they are organized in a clear and efficient manner. Find a RIM partner that can help you convert paper files to electronic formats, allowing your team to access important documents when they need them without ever needing to leave their desks.
An off-site storage facility will regularly monitor retention schedules for you, notifying you when records are outdated and ready for secure destruction. Choose a partner that will securely shred or destroy all expired or unnecessary files for you. This will ensure your business stays in compliance with federal and industry regulations, and help minimize the risk of data theft or breach.
Don’t waste critical time searching for files in boxes or filing cabinets. Many off-site storage facilities offer scan-on-demand services. When an employee requires access to a document that is stored off-site, they can simply request the document be converted to a digital format and have it shared with them via a secure platform. When a hardcopy record is needed, a RIM provider can find the document in off-site storage and securely retrieve and deliver it to your office.
This saves valuable time and improves workflow, and is also of critical importance for auditing and other business processes. When information is requested, it can be retrieved and viewed quickly and securely. Role-based permissioning ensures that only authorized individuals can access certain data.
Continually finding storage space for files, either within your own facility or at a self-storage facility, will increase costs exponentially over time. Additionally, having to find new space each year, as well as visiting a self-storage facility to transport, store and retrieve files, is also time-consuming and costly. Off-site storage is simply more cost-effective.
Let a RIM partner handle the storage and protection of your critical documents and information so that you can focus on more strategic initiatives like growing your small business.