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Document Management 101

The Evolving Lack of Importance of Hard Copies

Advancements in document management software make digital document storage more secure, more accessible, and more cost effective.

June 9, 2020

stacks of files

When digital document storage started to become a standard among businesses, hard copies had a rather special place. At one point, the hard copies were valued more than the digital copies because it was widely believed that digital copies were simply not as reliable, safe or secure as hard copies. This is no longer the case and, more often than not, hard copies can be done without these days. Even in the case of signed documents, digital signatures now offer encrypted technology with legally binding digital copies.

Why Digital Is More Important

When you consider the advantages of document management software, it's easy to understand why businesses have moved in this direction. Consider what needs to be done to back up a hard copy of a document. You need to make physical copies of that document and then you need to store it somewhere safe. To make one copy, you must consume twice the resources and twice the space as the original required.

Where digital information is concerned, making a copy takes only a second and doesn't require any additional resources. Backing up files can be done within the company or to a cloud server that has tremendous storage capability and that is, itself, backed up on a regular basis. Digital documents, provided they are managed and backed up correctly, are actually more difficult to destroy than paper documents.

Digital documentation is also much easier to work with. Imagine if you had to dig out a file on a client from five years ago and all you had were paper files. It may require a trip to the storage facility, digging through many boxes, hoping that the files were organized correctly in the first place and, if they were not, either having to give up the search or having to tear apart every single file to find the documents you needed. Digital storage can be searched in seconds using any desktop computer and even very old, archival materials can be accessed as easily as can new materials.

With staff working remotely, digital document management ensures everyone has access to what they need, when they need it, wherever they are.

Hard copies in today's workplace have turned into more of a burden rather than an asset. When people send documents to one another, they're most often attached to an e-mail. When people need signatures, they can send a digital document that is signed electronically and stored electronically for easy retrieval, no more printing, scanning, and filing away.

In today's world, being able to manage content in a digital form is much more important than hard copies. Streamlining how you manage your documents enables your business to put focus on providing better service and growth.