Information is power and in the last several years many companies have steadily increased the amount of data and documentation they gather and retain. Fortunately, they’re finding that document storage, both online and offline, is actually more affordable than they realized. Once you know the actual costs and issues that can arise with data storage, you’ll be able to find strategies to spend less money and still get much needed document security and organization.
The destruction of paper files is more costly than some companies realize. According to Inside Counsel, “it can take $143.49 to destroy a box of records” – and it is even more when you consider the labor and time costs of organization, shredding, disposal, etc. But regardless of the hidden costs of establishing an online document storage solution, it is still a necessary move for most companies. In a fast-moving digital world, customers, clients and organizations have very high expectations about how quickly and efficiently data can be accessed. There’s simply too much data to reliably find important information in paper records.
So, while the costs can add up, finding a secure document storage provider that can help offset some of these fees will save your company time and resources while organizing and protecting your documents.
To get a better perspective, let’s compare some of the cost-saving advantages of both online and offline document storage solutions.
Online Document Storage Solutions
The advantages of online document storage are many, so figuring out cost-saving benefits and strategies is crucial.
Some benefits of online storage include:
Usability: A streamlined user interface and intuitive process saves money by saving valuable time. Accessing files is far more efficient and easier than ever before, relieving you for more important tasks. The following SecureDocs features that facilitate this process:
- Drag & Drop of Folders and Documents
- Automatic Indexing
- Folder Trees for Easy Navigation
- Complete Index Available for Download
- Robust Search for Documents & Users
Bandwidth: Bandwidth is both expensive and valuable. Emailing large, cumbersome files makes matters even worse. You can avoid mailing critical files to investors or partners and instead send a web link to your recipients via email. This is a more efficient and organized means of communication, not to mention far more secure. SecureDocs users see additional cost savings because it does not require internal power to store or send the information remotely.
Accessibility: You and your executive team need to access corporate information quickly and efficiently no matter where you are. Stored files can be accessed from anywhere in the world via a secure Internet connection.
Using online document storage consequently enables users to work remotely, streamlining deals and saving companies the overhead costs needed for frequent business trips and all the corresponding expenses. As a result, deals run faster, smoother, more effectively and, with serious financial savings.
Disaster Recovery: We’ve seen too many disasters, both natural and man-made. These disasters can have a devastating affect on businesses who ignore disaster preparedness plans when it comes to the security of their most valuable documents. SecureDocs has automatic encrypted online backup, which is a key component in any disaster recovery plan. It also serves as a backup should your company suffer from hardware failure, theft, virus attack, deletion, or natural disasters. This mitigates the risk of lost income due to lost documents and customers.
When it comes to advantages, virtual data rooms like SecureDocs ultimately increase deal productivity. Centralizing and securing content management helps dealmakers keep their data structured, protected and always accessible. This in turn, allows you to increase your business's bottom line. Ultimately, a good online data repository exponentially increases the likelihood of a successful transaction.
On the other hand, some online document storage solutions and companies do come with pitfalls and disadvantages:
Bandwidth: Several cloud storage services have a specific bandwidth allowance. If your organization surpasses the given allowance, the additional charges could be significant. However, some providers (like SecureDocs) allow unlimited bandwidth. This is a factor that your company should consider when looking at a cloud storage provider.
Accessibility: If you have no Internet connection, you have no access to your data. If you have partners working remotely and they lose Internet access, connection or power, you will ultimately have a loss of productivity as well.
Data Security: Security vulnerabilities are a major concern for executive teams and companies storing data online. Privacy within organizations is also an important concern when private data is stored remotely. The possibility of private data commingling with other organizations makes some businesses uneasy, but choosing the correct online data storage solution will mitigate the majority of these concerns.
Security features that help mitigate security concerns:
- A snapshot of proprietary documentation, safeguarding information while making it accessible.
- View-Only functionality, requiring permissions for those who are allowed to change, edit or download them to their own devices.
- Two-Factor Authentication, protecting your data from unauthorized access with stolen passwords.
- Dynamic Watermarking, keeping your documents identified as your property.
- End to End Data Encryption, safeguarding your information both when it’s sent and when it’s received.
- One-click Privacy Blind feature, allowing users to hide onscreen info at the click of a button.
Offline Document Storage Solutions
Some companies have decided to stay offline for the time being, citing certain advantages of paper document storage.
Cost: Offsite paper file storage can be a low-cost solution, often with a set monthly fee. For companies without a large storage budget, this is definitely a concern. Record storage software prices can vary depending on the type of system you choose, and many worry that online storage will be significantly more expensive than a paper counterpart.
Preparation: Electronic document storage can often include additional time and resources when starting up, such as scanning and document preparation. Companies might be hesitant to spend that money up front.
Access: Offline document storage can make it easier for outsiders to view a large number of documents at once. Still, even that benefit is a drain on the implementing company’s time and budget.
The disadvantages of offline storage are significant, however:
Budget for the cost of boxes, office equipment, and space when you choose to use an off-site file storage facility.
Cost: Even offline solutions have hidden cost – like the cost of boxes when you store your paper files with an offsite storage facility, and employee time spent locating files.
Moreover, organizations that go with offline storage face potential lost income for several reasons, including:
- legal issues
- lost documents
- compliance issues
- appearing unprofessional to clients and investors due to offline storage use
In the end, choosing the right online storage—not just the least expensive one—is really the key to staying updated, relevant and secure without spending unnecessary money. Both online and paper storage solutions can add up if you’re not careful with budgeting and research, but you also get what you pay for. Only good vendors can guarantee you total security of your most valuable business data and can offer you rich features. A proper internet data room will provide serious money savings in this regard.
And while free storage solutions might seem like the answer, according to SecureDocs, "Services like Dropbox are wonderful tools for simplistic processes, but during highly-sensitive document exchanges, a virtual data room should be the trusted resource to control and manage the process. Using a free service could imply a lack of professionalism or concern for the private information the potential investor or client could soon be liable for."