Paperless Storage

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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The technology of paperless storage has been around for a decade at the very least. The practice, however, hasn't really been accepted as a substitute for the traditional climate-controlled warehouse until the last few years. Today, the nonstop pace of developing technologies has made paperless storage the de facto standard.

That said, it's sobering to realize that approximately 90 percent of organizational memory--from Wall Street to Constitution Avenue to Scripps Institute to NASA Goddard--is still on paper. The challenge of turning that number around is prodigious. At the same time, there's no question that the migration is underway. The new technologies are diverse, affordable, and incredibly efficient, so the movement seems inevitable.

Mapping Out Paperless Storage Applications

Options for businesses are varied. Sometimes just looking at the jargon is dizzying. Solutions include network infrastructures with automated in-house back-ups to hard drive and DVD, redundancies geared to offsite and multisite facilities, and a variety of online solutions complete with SSL encryption, hardware firewalls, and file server integration features. As complicated as all this sounds--and it is complex--maintaining a paperless storage system is inversely both simple and easy.

What's more, electronic storage has the indisputable advantage of replication. That is, storage of critically important data is not in a single location, but in several. This ensures that the data runs only a minimal risk of being lost. At its simplest, electronic storage means manually copying data on a daily or weekly basis to any number of devices, from flash cards to zip drives to CDs to DVDs to external/removable hard drives. More complex systems for organizations will incorporate regularly scheduled back-ups to remote servers as well as to removable media.


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Document Management Equals Lower Risk

Totally agree when you say, "What's more, electronic storage has the indisputable advantage of replication. That is, storage of critically important data is not in a single location, but in several. This ensures that the data runs only a minimal risk of being lost."

Having a document management system in place reduces the risk of misfiling or losing important documents. Westbrook Technologies (www.westbrooktech.com) came in and helped our office and with their system in place it is much easier for any of us to quickly access whatever file we need.