Data Storage Solutions

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Just a few years ago, data storage solutions meant looking in the yellow pages for professional record storage facilities in climate-controlled warehouses. Damage by flood and fire had long been recognized and accepted as a risk. Fire-retardant bricks were not fireproof and still aren't. There weren't any other answers. Data storage meant boxes of paper. It was that simple.

It was also just 20 years ago, I suddenly remember, that I watched a brick warehouse leased by an office supply company in Richmond, Virginia burn to the ground. In the building, on the south side of the James River, were not only a new shipment of furniture and the usual stock of filing supplies, eight-inch floppy diskettes, and typewriter ink cartridges, but the archived financial records as well. We'd also just completed the annual inventory. (The flames were admittedly, in their way, beautiful.)

By the 1950s, microfilm and microfiche were used as a partial solution to the issue of paper degradation. For many decades, in fact, they remained the de facto standard in data storage solutions. Warehouse space and fireproof vaults are still out there, of course, because they're needed. The answer for company, organizational, and medical record storage, however, has changed considerably. With the advent of computer technology and sophisticated imaging solutions, office managers and information experts are much better off. File and data archiving today is digital. Data storage solutions entail one or another of numerous computer technologies.

Data Storage Solutions: Value Added

For a major document conversion--that is, larger and midsized companies--the most efficient approach is to work with a company that specializes in migrations from paper-based systems to digital. The same is generally true, in fact, of small organizations. Staff time tends to be better spent on the business of the business, and there are many companies that specialize in data conversion. As far as planning for digital record systems and on-going file archiving is concerned, the best solutions focus on in-house maintenance rather than outsourcing.

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