You may already have a document archiving solution for your small business, but is it sustainable as your business grows. Here, we look at some of the challenges and approaches to scalable document archiving.
Sooner or later, every startup or small business will need to upgrade its document archiving system. Scaling up will come sooner than you think, especially when you consider the vast amount of information, documents, data and so on you create in any given month. Understanding how and why the capacity of your document archiving needs to be addressed sooner rather than later is important for every business.
How information and data is created
We live in a data hungry world where, for the smallest of purchases online, companies seem to gather a large amount of information. And there are other threats to archiving and storage; cyber-attacks as well as terrorism all impact on how and why some information is kept.
Thus, you may find the statutory and legal obligations placed on your business when it comes to archiving documents is growing;
- Many businesses are now archiving email messages for five years or more
- Spyware, hacking and cyber-attacks are also compromising online and electronic document archives – even websites are not immune and many companies are keeping separate files with all their business blogs in them because of the risk of losing their blog posts during the working day between web backups.
- Every time software is upgraded, it demands more operating space which also impacts on how big your document archives need to be able to efficiently process demands
- The format of documents is also changing; it is increasingly common for companies to hold information and so on in video format or other types of larger media files.
Critical to success
Business archives are critical to the success of you company. Archiving and retrieving information is a behind-the-scenes activity but they are essential. However, as your business grows, you can find that the size of your business and document archives grows beyond anything you imagined.
A mix of document archiving solutions may be needed and scaling is important; not knowing what you want in terms of capacity can lead to either not investing enough in a robust system and package, to over-paying.
To get the best archiving solutions for your business, consider;
- Capacity – what is your current capacity? How has this changed in recent years? How much more capacity do you think you will need in the coming year or two?
- Location – has the time come to look at storing information in different locations, as well as using different means and methods? One way that small companies are using more and more is to use a self storage facility for their documents. These facilities provide high security and climate controlled storage – often better than at your own premises. There are plenty of cheap self storage options available so check out self storage prices in your area to see if this would work for your business.
- Plan – do you have a document archiving plan? How do you know when you can delete or discard information? Who does this and how?
- Access and monitor – all too often, businesses tend to leave document archiving well alone, simply adding document after document. How much of this information is superfluous and stale?
- Cost and time – cost is not solely related to the cost of storage solutions but also the amount of time spent on cleaning up the archive, removing old files and so on. How much is your document archiving system or package really costing?
Proactive approach saves time and money
Simply adding file after file, month on month, year on year will swell you archiving system in no time. Ensuring you increase capacity when needed is important but also ensuring you take a proactive approach, managing the information you currently hold is important too.