Even though we live in a digital age, the storage and management of onsite physical records is still prevalent at most company offices. Why? If you ask employees, you might hear responses like “paper is easier to read”, “our official documents with wet signatures must be managed in a physical format”, or my favorite… “we have always done it this way.” The reality is that our reliance on paper records has resulted in ineffective business usage of records, avoidable risks in loss, mismanagement of physical records, and a continual flow of dollars spent on upkeep of the physical records as well as the space used to manage the volumes of records. Reliance on physical records makes organizations less nimble in decision making and more error prone. This combination adds risk and contributes to competitive disadvantage.
Storage and management of physical records can be a hindrance to your organization. Physical files can be easily misfiled or lost, destroyed, or compromised. It is often difficult to monitor access, printing and copying of sensitive physical records which can create numerous copies and security compromises. Without the proper controls in place, physical records are subject to natural disasters such as fire or floods. Digitizing of onsite physical records offers greater security of your data and your customer’s data. It reduces the overall risk and impact of disaster recovery and enhances business continuity in addition to creating new opportunities for process improvement and efficiencies within the organization.
Businesses are liable for the information retained on or for their customers. Regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR and SOX demand that all data must be managed and saved based on customer confidentiality and trust. Managing this risk with paper records is complicated. Improper access and misplacement of onsite physical records can lead to potential violations and fines. In addition, recordkeeping practices must be consistently performed. Records systems must include security, retention, disposition, and audit tracking capabilities to ensure that management of your records meet the compliance standards for your industry.
Deforestation and global warming are real. Reducing reliance on paper through digital transformation enables a more sustainable business. Eliminating the need to manage and store physical records onsite enables organizations to better utilize real estate by leveraging space based on business need (vs. storage need). It also enforces a corporate culture that is eco-focused which many customers and employees value and find to be a differentiator when selecting a business partner or employer.
You are probably thinking… I really should move the onsite physical files out of our office, but what happens when someone needs a file quickly? How long will it take to get it back? Digitization is the answer. Implementing a Scan on Demand process empowers your users to request physical records and receive them back in a digital format, often faster than retrieving the actual physical record. Digitization empowers your users to gain access to the record at any time and from anywhere. Digital files also provide the security and accessibility controls needed to mitigate liability.
Access provides a holistic approach to records management programs through our Managed Service offerings, which are designed to strategically align with organizations’ digitization goals. We focus on eliminating the need to manage any physical records onsite and provide self-service scan on demand that promotes digital transformation. Our methodology creates a value chain of continuous improvement, optimization and change management to integrate and automate record and information processes and deliver great service at a lower cost.
In the meantime, I encourage you to check out our new eBook, Accelerating Digitization to Meet Today’s Remote Work Requirements.