For years, experts have been talking about the paper-free business. Evolving technologies have spurred innovative storage and sharing systems that allow us to upload and process data through a bevy of devices. However, while there may be a day in which all business records are processed digitally, it will not be today, according to a new report.
In Europe, a study reveals that 58 percent of companies still rely on paper records for daily operations and store them on their premises.
Information risk management professional Christian Toon, who helped organize the study, told Europe Business Review that ultimately, companies will need to organize a strategy that allows companies to mix and match their paper and digital documents. Working with a professional records management company, clients can reap the benefits of a hybrid management system that incorporates both hard copy and electronic information into business processes.
"We would advise companies not to rush into a digitize-all approach, but to focus on understanding how information is used and then digitizing the documents they need to access frequently," Toon said. "Businesses need to shrink the problem and focus resources on their most important documents, such as corporation documents, customer data and business intelligence." Archive records that are not referred to might be best left in paper format. A professional records management firm can help clients determine which records are most effectively managed in paper format and which business processes will benefit most from digitization.
The sentiment is shared among many businesses in the United States. Recently, this blog discussed the fact that many healthcare professionals have been hesitant to transition from traditional records to an electronic format because they have spent years becoming accustomed to the physical record format. Finding appropriate storage solutions for paper records as well as determining the right time and processes to convert are ongoing challenges. Companies may want to keep archived information in the form of paper records, but an excess of physical documents could hinder productivity if it compromises work space.
Working with a professional records management provider allows companies to keep their physical documents out of the way while maintaining a proper level of security.