Due to advancements in technology these days, a lot of businesses are reducing their operational expenses by going paperless, or at least minimizing the amount of paper they use on a daily basis. One reason why it’s becoming so popular is because digital documents can be far more accessible than paper documents. This creates a workplace that’s both more cost effective and more efficient. One of the ways companies go paperless is using document scanners.
In years past, businesses not only wasted a lot of paper, but they also wasted a lot of money by storing documents for longer periods of time than was necessary. While there are regulations that govern the retention of certain files, those requirements can be satisfied through electronic documents. Decades ago, a common practice was to use microfilm, but files stored on that technology were later converted to digital formats, which are easily accessible now using cloud technologies.
When it comes to paper files, one of the challenges was the issue of security and protecting private information. After HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) was passed, it became critical for healthcare institutions and other organizations to properly secure personal and sensitive information. Although there are still companies that use paper documents for medical records and other sensitive information, there are often limitations when it comes to security. On the other hand, electronic documents can be controlled and protected more effectively because access can be restricted on a global level.
When companies scan documents to eliminate paper files, they are far more likely to comply with regulations and all laws related to their industry. For example, Sarbanes Oxley requirements are relatively stringent and are assessed during financial audits. Companies that use electronic files are more likely to pass an audit than those with physical files, which is a good reason to consider a slide scanner rental before your next audit.
Perhaps one of the largest benefits of scanning documents is disaster recovery. Should an emergency occur, you can access documents stored in a cloud very quickly. When files are maintained in a cabinet, there’s a good chance that a disaster could destroy them permanently and no other records are available. This means that a fire or flood could be more devastating than they would have been if documents were scanned and stored. In addition to scanning and maintaining documents electronically, it’s important to have a disaster recovery plan that spells out where information is stored and how it can be accessed.
Another significant benefit of scanning and maintaining digital documents is that it allows you to collaborate more effectively with teams across locations. Depending on the nature of the document, you can either send it to individuals or groups in a manner of minutes, which is not the case if you only have a physical file.
Let’s not forget the value of going green. Storing physical records is costlier because it can require more time and energy, especially when you have storage facilities that must be climate controlled.