Document Storage

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Do you remember the final scene in the Harrison Ford adventure movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the forklift operator drives into a warehouse full of aisle after aisle of identical wooden crates? The perils of traditional document storage are just that, substituting boxes of paper for the wooden crates. Many records are rarely seen again--that is, they're effectively lost, misplaced, or inadvertently destroyed. Look at the 1921 fire at the Commerce Department in Washington DC, for example, and the (in large part) lost 1890 federal census.

The Advantages of Digital Document Storage

Today's answer to the dilemma is electronic information management. Digital record keeping rather than hard copy document storage does away with the need for archiving paper. It makes the question of safely storing documents in climate controlled facilities at minimal risk from fire, flood, and other natural conditions obsolete.

In a digital storage system, paper documents are created electronically, printed, used, and recycled. They're there when needed and not when not. Document storage in the 21st century means instead data storage--redundant network backup systems, tape drives, DVD archives, 24/7 onsite/offsite connectivity, secure access, and the like.

Professional record storage fees drop exponentially. Transport costs are eliminated. Access to information is enhanced dramatically. Information stays accessible at a moment's notice to multiple users at multiple locations. The best electronic record management system is an integrated and tailored solution of software and hardware. But you need to get from A to B, and it takes carefully planning, both to execute the conversion of the old documents and to maintain the system for new ones.

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