Why Document Management in The Cloud Is Better Than in The Cabinet
Today’s working office is a place where technological and traditional methods are expected to work in harmony. Yet, some remain satisfied with paper documents in a filing cabinet. But the twin obligations of document management and data protection has made Cloud storage a necessity rather than a luxury.
Not so long ago, the role the Cloud played in document management and data storage was straightforward: it was a backup to local data storage and hardcopy storage. However, security, accessibility and capability has placed Cloud storage firmly at the top of the priorities of a modern efficiently operated office.
But is storing paper documents really such a poor document management option? And how exactly does digitisation followed by Cloud storage outdo the tried and trusted traditional option?
The Problem with Paper
The statistics suggest paper-based document storage is far from ideal. ‘Paper office’ issues are well-known, with numerous studies highlighting the problem that paper causes. It’s not just the clutter that can be created as a direct result of storing paper; it is also the costs involved both financially and in efficiency terms.
- Low Efficiency
Research from multiple sources show that storing paper documents can seriously affect the efficiency of an office principally. Research shows that staff can spend as much as 50% of their time searching for information, with an average of 18 minutes taken to locate each document needed. Not only that, but difficulties in finding these documents accounted for productivity losses of 21.3%.
- Versioning Confusion
Versioning, which is where updated versions are saved and older invalid versions are archived or even erased, is an equally draining element. In fact, according to Harris Interactive’s survey, 83% of knowledge workers in the UK and US lose time on versioning issues every day, including sending the wrong version of a document to a client (almost 50%), and confusion over whether the version being worked on is the right one (57%).
Problems with Local Storage
For companies that have embraced technology, local storage is a simple bridge between the ‘old school’ hard-copy and progressive Cloud storage options. And there are some clear advantages to using local storage devices.
They are electronic, so large amounts of digitised documents and available data can be stored; they connect to a computer, so information can be accessed quickly; they are independent of a network, so data is safe from hacking.
However, local storage also has some clear limitations, not least when it comes to collaboration:
- Being independent of a network, it does not allow for easy document sharing across devices
- Being independent prevents multiple user accessibility, so slows down the collaborating process
- Storage costs increase as the necessary data storage space increases, requiring the purchase of further local storage devices
- Being stored on an actual device, physical data theft is possible
Benefits of Cloud Storage
So, what are the benefits that Cloud storage offer over the alternatives? There are several, but here we list just 4 of them.
A key benefit of Cloud storage is the ability of multiple users to access information stored there. This is a necessity in the age of remote working, allowing employees to access data when not in the office. An Intuit survey revealed that 77% of business owners there wanted to be able to access files remotely.
Where paper creates so many efficiency issues, the storage of digitised documents and data in the Cloud offer none of them.
- There is no human error to contribute to misfiling’s because programmes automatically categorise and file in virtual folders
- There are no filing cabinets to waste time searching through because retrieval is based on keywords and achieved in seconds
- There are no versioning issues because digitised documents are automatically updated with every change made
- There is no paper mountain to occupy space and create clutter, lowering the quality of the working environment.
More Cost Effective
Cloud storage offers a cost-effective option for every business’s needs. Only the storage space used is paid for. Not only that, but it reduces the need to buy local storage devices, power them and service them. It also reduces on-promised hardware and software management.
Over time, the number of documents a business gathers grows. This creates a problem in finding the necessary space to store them all. Cloud storage allows for simple and cost-effective scalability, so that as more digital space is needed, that extra space can be provided.
Click here to learn more about BPMS’s document management solutions.