Backing up files and records is crucial to any disaster recovery plan, and there are many types of disasters that you need to plan for. At any time all of your documents could be wiped out by a natural disaster, fire, theft, or computer malfunction. Not only would you have to worry about recreating all of your files, but there is also the issue of your information ending up in the wrong hands.
According to the Strategic Research Corporation, the statistics for document loss are as follows:
• 3% are due to natural disasters
• 7% are due to viruses and security breaches
• 14% are due to software error
• 32% are due to human error
• And the leading cause: Common hardware or system malfunction at 44%
Let the statistics show, your files are never secure until the proper precautions are taken.
Document Storage Options
1. File Cabinet
In the past, simply storing copies of your important paper documents in a file cabinet was the only option for business continuity. Back then, it's also likely that the requirements for compliance were not as stringent. However, with the advancements of technology, and the ever-increasing rules and regulations for compliance, paper copies are not a safe form of continuity.
2. External Storage Devices
Another option is the method of transferring computer files to CD-ROM discs, external hard drives and portable flash drives. These methods can be very risky as you could easily lose the external storage device that you have backed up all of your files on. This is a common occurrence! If you're feeling confident because your information is backed up on the company’s on-premise server, what do you do if the tapes are lost, damaged or the server itself malfunctions? One of the biggest concerns most organizations need to worry about is whether or not their staff is really checking the back-ups to ensure the data is there and that you did not have a hardware/software failure or information was corrupted.
3. Online Document Management
Online document management systems are the most cost-effective, reliable and secure alternative to the traditional methods of file back-up. With these systems, all documents are stored within an encrypted, internet-based application, with access to limitless document storage space, as well as universal access anywhere using your internet connection. The best applications actually reduce the need for disaster recovery plans because your information is always protected and backed up to additional locations. Once your files are electronically captured, uploaded and stored in the application, they are saved within a secure data facility keeping your most important documents out of harms way.
Any organization that generates and retains records will benefit from an online document management system, removing the expense of storing documents and providing document protection without the headache of worrying about your back-ups. Regulated businesses, including government agencies, credit unions and banks, and non-profit organizations are already investing in this technology to meet compliance requirements. Every business has different needs when it comes to a document management solution, so when researching the best solution, it's also important to consider flexibility.
DocuVantage OnDemand® has worked with customers to create solutions that are scalable for each individual business’s needs. This allows you to purchase the solution you need right now and easily upgrade when your needs change later. More advanced features can also be used to reduce costs in time-consuming tasks, such as electronic signatures for contract management and automated invoice processing for accounts payable.