Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses; without it, everything would grind to a halt. However the ever-increasing quantity of information that companies must deal with poses numerous challenges. By 2025, global data creation is expected to reach more than 180 zettabytes, higher than previous forecasts due to the increase in remote working. And while only about two percent of this data will be saved and stored, businesses face an ongoing need for increased file storage capacity.
Where and how to store data is an ever-present challenge for many businesses. Information used to be collected and stored on paper, frequently in filing cabinets in the back room of an office. For lack of a better solution, this system was fine until the influx of data gradually became unmanageable, requiring an ever-expanding amount of physical storage space and resulting in ever-increasing costs. Although many businesses might accept basic file storage costs as an unavoidable expense, once these are combined with the associated maintenance and security costs, such as fire or flood prevention, operating costs soon spiral out of control and shrink profit margins.
As if that were not enough, the past few years have seen data thrown into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The public discovered that personal data was being collected and stored en masse, often without permission, and all too often without adequate protection. Time and time again, well-known companies made headlines after suffering data breaches due to lax security. And while most companies are now aware of the importance of properly securing data in all its forms, there still appears to be confusion about how exactly data should be managed and the most effective solutions for file storage.
The struggle to digitise files
To a certain degree, business leaders have realised that they can convert documents into digital data and do away with the filing cabinets. However, digital transformation projects can be daunting, with many companies put off by the initial costs. Additionally, rapidly changing technologies, and increased legislation and regulatory scrutiny mean many companies are struggling to drive real change.
With many companies only half-digitised and others who have yet to embark on this process, documentation is still being stored on-site across numerous businesses - taking up space, costing money, and being underused and poorly managed, whether it’s located on servers or paper. This is primarily due to the fact that companies are not relying on a dedicated digital archive or content management solution, which could readily provide an answer to their problems.
Digital archiving & Content Services
Digital archiving was invented to replace its analogue predecessor - the filing cabinet - and optimise the way that inactive data is stored. Paper files are scanned and uploaded onto a digital platform that acts as a virtual filing cabinet. However, storing poorly organised data on company servers can be almost as chaotic as a room full of filing cabinets. In essence, merely scanning company data onto servers is not an effective file storage solution. In order to really address the issue of document storage, a business should invest in Content Services solutions, such as a content management system with advanced digital archiving features.
Content Services refers to the collection of services that enable businesses to manage documents and content across their entire lifecycle. It includes tools for print management, data capture and extraction, document storage, business automation, data integration between systems and business intelligence, as well as related ICT services such as those that improve collaboration, mobility and security.
The strategic implementation of Content Services solutions enables businesses that still rely on paper file storage to move their data to cloud storage solutions. This removes the need for old-fashioned filing rooms and servers dedicated to storage, all of which cost money and cause inefficiencies. Businesses can rest assured that their data is secure as access to the cloud is tightly controlled. Additionally, all the data that a company needs to keep can be easily located when required, allowing employees to focus on doing their jobs rather than finding a lost file.
Below we’ll delve into exactly how digital archiving with Content Services offers significant advantages over other file storage methods. But first, let’s start by looking deeper at why businesses with on-site storage should change.