5 Reasons To Move to Digital Documents
- Author Paul Edwards
- Published April 20, 2021
- Word count 1,086
Recent global events have accelerated to move to digital. Businesses across all industries are starting to digitise their documentation. Let’s take a look at some of the motivations that have driven businesses towards digital solutions and explore how digital documents can drastically improve your business’s performance, saving valuable time and money.
Many businesses struggle with information management, with paper documents being difficult to scale, it’s hard to keep things organised.
Teams are consistently being asked to do more in less time and how your business spends its time is paramount to its success A typical employee can spend on average, 1.8 hours per day looking for information. Over 9 hours a week. This means that for every five people on the payroll, only four are actually able to focus on their jobs. Imagine having that time back?
What if you could have all your business-critical documents available at your fingertips. Now imagine those digital documents in an organised and structured environment allowing for targeted results so you aren’t spending time searching for documents.
Location - Where are your documents?
Many businesses are geographically dispersed, with different departments or different buildings altogether. How does your paperwork get from one place to another?
Let’s take HR documents as an example. Typically hiring is done at an individual office or department and the documentation is centralised. How does the hiring manager access those documents, do they keep copies, how much back and forth occurs ensuring paperwork is completed and filed correctly.
Employees move departments. How does the paperwork get from their former manager to their new manager? What if an employee moves locations to a different office, how does the new office gain access to the employee file, are multiple copies being created for that one person.
When disciplinary action is needed the chance of non-compliance and an incomplete employee record can land your business in hot water. Digital documents solve the problem of having multiple documents in multiple locations.
Access – who can see your business data
In today’s modern world you need an easy and secure way to access and share your business documents internally and also with external third parties such as government authorities, auditors and solicitors. The primary goal in sharing documents is to control the access and security of your business information.
A survey of HR professionals found that 69% of those surveyed share important documents with an external third party at least once a quarter. 11% needed to share externally at least once a week!
The same survey also found that 76% use email as their primary delivery method for documentation, and 67% deliver physical copies of the files.
Let’s look at this issue in more detail:
A sensitive document is scanned from a multi-function device and is in your inbox.
You forward that email, with the document attached, to the person who needs it. Now a copy of that document is in your outbox and in the person’s inbox.
Let’s assume you delete those copies, they still reside on the email server. Also, you have no idea what the receiving person has done with the document. Printed it? Forwarded it?
That one sensitive document can potentially turn into multiple unsecured copies
It’s the same with the physical documents. Copies are provided to the requesting person but then what? What happens to those copies? Do they sit in an unlocked drawer in someone’s desk?
These documents should never leave your control. You should have a complete audit trail of who has accessed, viewed or edited them. Digital documents give you the control to restrict access to view only, so no extra copies are made or forwarded.
Confidence – how do you know the files are complete?
How confident are you that all your documents are complete? Can you be confident that you have complete control of your sensitive information? Are you sure it is all up to date?
Unfortunately, our documents don’t tell us when they are missing. The time when you need a document is the wrong time to find out you don’t have it.
What if you could know with certainty that your documents were complete? Would you feel more prepared for that internal audit? With strong workflow and monitoring controls, your document management system will constantly scan through all your digital documents, testing for completeness and looking for expiring documents and those that need updating.
Retention – are you keeping only the documents you need?
Your business probably has a document retention policy. Due to the different silos of information throughout your business, paper documents and emails with attachments. Can you be confident you are following your companies retention policies?
Any documents containing personally identifiable information should only be kept for as long as are required. For example, the GDPR has rules that documents cannot be held longer than necessary as a form of personal data protection (Article 6 GDPR)
So what happens to your documents once the required period to retain them has expired? You must therefore establish clear processes for both retaining and deleting documents. With digital documents in a document management system, this process can be automated and securely controlled.
Why move to Digital Documents?
Digital documents reduce storage costs, are easy to find, can be shared globally and increase compliance. Digitising your documents into a document management system allows you to have complete control of your business data, set rules, restrict access and track all of your business data in one place.
How does digital document management help?
A digital document management platform will integrate all of your company information and documents for greater control, access and process efficiency. It offers significant advantages, such as:
Search and retrieval
Digital Documents help enforce compliance
Each of these five reasons to move to digital documents ties back to compliance. As a business professional, you have a range of responsibilities, but it is important to recognise that creating a proper environment for the safe, secure, and compliant management of your business documents is key to achieving them.
Moving from a paper-based document environment to digital documents is a big leap forward in your ability to perform this critical responsibility.
However, moving to digital documents is more than just scanning documents and attaching them to a bunch of different systems. To get the true value out of taking your business digital, you need a document management system that drives compliance and visibility into your documents to ensure completeness.
Hi, I'm Paul Edwards the Managing Director of Print Logic Ltd
If you’re looking for a Document Management Solution, we offer bespoke solutions tailored to your business and document needs.
Talk to one of our experts, who’ll work with you to bring you the latest technology for less. We pride ourselves on our customer support and saving you time and money.https://articlebiz.com
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