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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.


Chapter 1

The challenges of on-site file storage

For enterprises struggling to handle excessive amounts of sensitive papers securely, while also driving their digital transformation journeys forward, there are many challenges posed by on-site file storage and the costly inefficiencies and security concerns it triggers, including:

  • Lack of space to store a growing volume of documents in filing cabinets or on servers. More data means using more storage space and resources, ultimately costing the business more.
  • With corporate real estate and office spaces coming at a high price, the cost of increasing physical file storage space is an ineffective use of resources.
  • The added costs of securing any storage space from unauthorised access or damage can spiral out of control over time and start consuming profits.
  • Printing countless documents can be expensive, while also running the risk of multiple copies of the same document being in use at the same time.
  • The rise of the hybrid work model means that documents stored in a central office are no longer readily accessible by a large number of remote employees.
  • Employees find themselves aggravated, wasting time trying to retrieve specific documents among endless stacks of paper or poorly organised digital folders.
  • Dissatisfied customers are kept waiting for information, creating a poor perception of the company, resulting in possible resource and revenue losses.
  • Unauthorised individuals may view a paper document left lying around, gain access to the file storage space or open a sensitive file on their computer.
  • Employees may forget to return documents to storage, file them in the wrong place or create their own file structure on the server, adding to the confusion and effectively losing the documents.

So with enterprises facing a myriad of challenges related to file storage, why aren’t they already using Content Services technology to solve these problems and improve efficiency and security? In the next chapter, we’ll look at the most common barriers to change.


Chapter 2

The barriers to change

What is holding businesses back? Four main reasons: lack of awareness, challenges finding the right solution, fear of increasing costs and confusion around regulations.

Barriers to change

1. Lack of awareness

Companies and their employees often do not realise the extent of the problems they are experiencing and their potential consequences. Moreover, once they do realise, they are often not aware of the solutions available to them, or how simple and affordable their implementation would be.

In many companies, especially larger ones, employees grow accustomed to delays every time they want to retrieve a document from storage. Over time, they accept that the process takes a while. But this inertia only aggravates the problem, as a few minutes every day add up to a huge amount of wasted time over the course of a year. In fact, delays in data retrieval can lead to serious inefficiency and such losses of productivity should push business leaders to act.

2. Challenges finding the right file storage solution

Once businesses realise there is a concern, they often struggle to find the right file storage solution. A lack of knowledge can result in companies continuing to operate inefficiently. This may be fuelled, in part, by IT teams who are reluctant to make changes they consider overly drastic, opting instead for less innovative solutions that they are used to as a way to ease the transition of change.

For instance, they might decide to create a shared folder on the company’s servers that can be accessed by all authorised employees. However, this apparent solution falls short as it merely recreates the chaos of filing cabinets while simultaneously slowing down server speeds. Rather than solving the problem, such short-sightedness complicates the situation further, putting a square peg in a round hole and wasting time and money.

3. Fear of increasing costs

In everyday business life, companies constantly face the pressures of becoming leaner and more cost-effective in the midst of stringent legal regulations and growing security concerns. Companies may be reluctant to invest in cutting-edge technology as this tends to come with a hefty price tag.

Unfortunately, they are unaware of the potential savings and return on investment that can be achieved by implementing systems and business practices such as Content Services. Smart investment could actually cut costs, reduce document retrieval times and ensure document security.

4. Confusion around regulations

Finally, a major force driving the continued storage of physical documents is the requirements linked to different legislations. Businesses are not always entirely sure what data they need to keep and for how long in order to comply with the latest policies and laws, and this obliges them to physically store files on-site for long periods of time. Multinational companies may also need to retain documents for varying amounts of time according to the local requirements of the different countries they operate in.

Consequently, enterprises may end up continuing to rely on paper documents due to legal obligations, even if they have already digitised them. However, this is simply incompatible with the goal of going fully digital, and perpetuates the challenges related to security, accessibility and efficiency associated with on-site document storage.

As businesses try to race against a fast-paced digital business world, they are witnessing how both the lack of storage space for documents and an analogue approach to managing documentation hinder their digital transformation journey. While enterprises continue to rely on paper documents and on-site archiving, they are still operating in an analogue environment and missing out on the higher productivity, measurable efficiencies and profit gains of the digital business world.

Let’s dive into the key ways in which Content Services offers an overarching solution to file storage and management.


Chapter 3

The cost of file storage

The problem

An undeniable disadvantage and pain point of not having a document management solution in place lies in the increased costs that come with the lack of space for storing documents in workplaces. Storing documents on-site leads to dead space in workplaces, which is an unnecessary waste of resources.

Furthermore, as the number of files to be stored increases with time, more storage space is required, which in turn demands greater investment in additional storage space, and therefore, costly maintenance. Additionally, internal staff have to deal with retrieving and storing documents on-site, which takes valuable time away from other tasks which add more value to the organisation. With property value constantly on the rise, companies can’t afford to waste any resources or money and must take measures to ensure business profitability.

People looking at the cost of file storage

The solution

Freeing up storage space enables enterprises to use it as production or meeting rooms, rather than just storage facilities, or downsize their office space entirely, saving money on rent and property maintenance. Content Services is the key to achieving this. Paper documents are scanned and stored in digital format, eliminating the need to keep vast quantities of paper documentation on-site. Originals that must be kept for legal reasons can be packed off and stored in cheaper storage off-site, while originals that do not need to be kept can be securely destroyed.

This provides a significant financial advantage to businesses. On-site file storage is expensive, and this cost is cut immediately, freeing up funds for smarter investments. In addition, space previously used for storage can be put to better use. The company could hire more employees and boost growth, or it could give its current employees more space to make them more comfortable. Happier employees are more productive, and customers that come into contact with them will notice the difference.

Businesses that opt for a cloud-based Content Services Platform for their digital archive have even more opportunity to save money. The cost of cloud storage is minimal compared to buying and maintaining an ever-growing army of on-site servers. With less unnecessary data on company repositories, they will run faster and allow employees to get on with their work more productively.

Using fewer resources is also the best way to improve an organisation’s environmental footprint. Preventing wastefulness and showing real respect for the environment are qualities that can be used in marketing strategies to attract today’s eco-conscious consumers and enhance a company’s reputation. These knock-on effects are what give companies the edge in a fiercely competitive business environment.


Chapter 4

The dangers of physical file storage

Dangers physical file storage

The problem

Unprotected physical documentation is a significant business risk. Documents that are not adequately safeguarded can easily be subject to damage or, even worse, entirely destroyed due to unforeseen situations like fires or floods. This could result in disastrous consequences for businesses that house sensitive or historical information that has not been backed up and is therefore unrecoverable.

And it’s not just unforeseen natural disasters or malicious intent that threatens physical documents, but also human error. Whenever documents are not organised in an efficient and methodical way, any loose documents are at risk of being misplaced by employees. Even worse, they could accidentally be taken by an unauthorised party or thrown away.

The solution isn’t simply to go digital and back-up data regularly. While many companies choose to upload these files to their own repositories due to security concerns, on-site servers are just as susceptible to damage as filing cabinets, and the costs are immense for a business maintaining its own army of private repositories. While the company’s intentions are good, the execution and results fall short of a truly secure document storage solution.

The dangers of physical file storage

The solution

Content Services hold the key. Business leaders can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their vital data and files are safely stored on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere using any authorised device. Fires and floods will not affect it, and all the money that would have been spent on buying, maintaining, and securing company storage spaces or servers can be invested more intelligently.

Additionally, access control provides assurance that only authorised individuals are viewing or editing a document, as well as an historic record of all changes made to that file.



Chapter 5

Locating and retrieving documents

The problem

One of the business pain points that stands out when assessing a company’s document management approach is how long it takes to find and search for documents. The incessant chase after documents that just can’t be found at the most inconvenient times, such as critical meetings and deal closings, is a common denominator across businesses of all kinds. Old-fashioned archiving systems that file information by date or in alphabetical order face daily challenges which could be easily avoided.

Employees waste valuable time trying to retrieve files that could be dedicated to more useful tasks. This causes frustration, which has a negative impact on user experience, and begins to highlight inefficiencies around the workplace due to inadequately stored and managed documentation.

Customer experience is also affected by employees spending too much time retrieving documents. It leads to a delay in processes and overall operations, which translates to longer waiting times for customers. Ultimately, this can drive down customer satisfaction and significantly lower the perception of a brand as customers experience the inefficiencies within the company. Consequently, enterprises are then deemed unsophisticated in today’s digital times.

Enterprises, whether small or large, have been dealing with this issue long enough to understand the consequences of it, yet many business leaders are not aware of how to overcome this obstacle.

The solution

Content Services solves all of these file storage problems with a sophisticated indexing system. After digitising documents, a Content Services solution assigns specific properties to the file for indexing purposes. These properties can be added either manually or automatically. The automated system uses advanced technology, including templates and Optical Character Recognition, to identify what type of document is being scanned and tag it accordingly. For example, an invoice would be labelled as such, and the most important information, such as the customer number and invoice date, would be tagged for easier retrieval in the future.

This type of indexing streamlines and speeds up the whole retrieval process, enhancing user experience by improving efficiency in the work environment. Employees can quickly search for files that have been digitised by using tags or keywords that correspond to each document, finding them in no time. With more time to focus on their actual tasks, employees will see their productivity levels increase significantly, and customers calling with queries will instantly receive the help they need. Less inefficiency and frustration means less headaches for company leaders, who can focus on driving smart business growth instead. And satisfied customers will stay loyal to the business, and even recommend it to their peers.


Chapter 6

Controlling access

controlling access

The problem

Poorly organised data is not only hard to locate, but it is also difficult to monitor who is accessing the information. Documentation that is traditionally stored in filing cabinets, even under lock and key, is still at risk of being accessed or seen by unauthorised staff or outside visitors.

For instance, an IT contractor who is paying a visit to the office to perform regular network maintenance could accidentally come across or pick up a document containing highly confidential information about an ongoing negotiation or transaction – an unfortunate accident that could lead to a business losing a bidding war or missing out on a deal if that information were to become public.

Furthermore, it is practically impossible for companies to keep meticulous records of who uses or edits what documents. Employees could make unauthorised copies or edit documents without permission, or various copies of the same document could end up in use in different departments because nobody is keeping track. This might only come to light during routine audits and the damage to the company’s reputation could be irreparable.

Attempts to restrict access to paper documents often lead to mountains of red tape that are ultimately ineffective. Employees that do need access to certain information are forced to jump through countless hoops before they get what they need, which is both frustrating and distracts them from their real work. Nor does simply digitising documents solve these problems as shared folders on company servers can be just as problematic. In the modern world, staff often need to access data remotely and granting permissions to certain individuals while ensuring that unwanted access is prevented can be a nightmare for IT teams.

Clearly, without an effective file storage solution, strictly and effectively controlling, tracking and auditing document access poses a real challenge, especially in the world of increased compliance and regulations, particularly around personal data.

Controlling access

The solution

Digital archiving with Content Services has the power to restrict access to sensitive files, without creating unnecessary red tape. Data stored on the cloud is safeguarded against unauthorised access, and granting access is simplified to make the process more efficient, which means no more endless waiting.

Additionally, a register is kept to monitor who accesses, edits, or downloads information, and when. This feature adds accountability that is critically important to audits and removes the possibility of anonymous edits.

Controlling access also prevents the existence of various versions of a file, ensuring that teams operating from different areas are all working on the most recent document. For example, with digital archiving, the marketing department could be given immediate access to invoices belonging to sales, reducing complex workflows and keeping the business running smoothly.


Chapter 7

Notifications and reminders

The problem

Another challenge of paper documents is the requirement for employees to remember time-sensitive information, such as when a contract expires or a licence needs renewing. The potential consequences can be dire, including loss of business, heavy fines, lawsuits and even serious injury.

Take for example a manufacturing company where employees regularly operate heavy machinery. In order to avoid accidents, they are given safety guidelines and instructions on how to use the machinery correctly. A new employee arrives and the only safety guidelines that can be found are out-of-date, as nobody remembered to renew them. The machinery has changed over time, rendering the outdated guidelines useless, and if this individual has an accident, the company is liable for not providing adequate training. Even if the employee does not have an accident, routine auditing could come across the outdated safety guidelines, and given the potential risk, this could result in fines for the company due to non-compliance.

Employees responsible for updating this information may dedicate a significant amount of time to laborious workflows in order to ensure they don’t forget important information - none of which removes the risk entirely.

Notifications and reminders

The solution

Content Services have a notification function that allows reminders to be set on archived documents. If notifications are set, the relevant department will be reminded ahead of time that a certain document needs attention. Contracts can be renewed before they expire and cause downtime, and safety guidelines or certifications can be regularly reviewed and updated.

When such a simple solution exists, there is no need for businesses to be running unnecessary risks that could have disastrous consequences to the health and wellbeing of their business, employees and customers.


Chapter 8

Altering or erasing personal data

Altering-or-erasing-personal-dataThe problem

If data needs to be deleted or altered, it is important to know exactly where it is being stored. For multinational companies operating in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force in May 2018 introduced the right of erasure in Article 17. This enables citizens to request that companies show them what personal data they have collected, as well as request that it be eliminated.

While no such protection exists in Australia, organisations are still required to ensure that the personal information they collect and use is accurate, up-to-date and complete. This will likely mean updating customers' personal information, such as contact details, at times.

For companies still storing physical files, this is a nightmare. If a company cannot keep track of where it is storing documents, it is extremely difficult to alter or delete them if requested to do so, creating a major compliance issue.

The solution

Digital archiving with Content Services provides the best response to the increasing legal concerns with how personal data is held. Digitally stored data is protected and well organised with smart indexing, so will always be quick and easy to find. If a customer requests to see this information, it is one click away. If the data needs updating, the company can comply instantly. By handling customers’ personal information with integrity, sophistication and lawful compliance, companies can preserve their reputation and focus on achieving their other objectives.


Boosting efficiency and overcoming on-site file storage challenges with game-changing technological solutions like Content Services is now a reality. Although businesses may be unaware of the numerous inefficiencies and security risks emerging from on-site file storage and archiving solutions, the potential consequences they face by running unnecessary risks cannot be ignored. Maintaining their current approach, augmenting it by buying additional storage space or hiring new employees to manage documents, is neither profitable, sustainable nor safe in the long run. It is time for business leaders to take digital transformation seriously and implement changes before the risks catch up with them.

A Content Services solution is within reach for most organisations currently dealing with the chaos caused by inadequate file storage. Investing smartly in this technology to enable digital archiving of inactive data on the cloud will reduce a myriad of costs, increase efficiency, improve workflow management and drive companies forward on their digital transformation journey. Ultimately, enterprises implementing Content Services will no longer have to rely on paper documents, enabling them to stay ahead in the fast-paced digital business world.