In our home lives we think little of our digitised data. For example, every day we pay for goods using PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay, have auto-fill on many online forms, online banking and bills as well as online job applications for employment is all digitised. This is just part of modern life. And yet not all businesses have made the transition to a paperless environment, still relying on physical records and documents.

Whilst in personal transactions we appreciate the convenience of digitising data, in business there are many more benefits to this process than simple convenience.

Benefits of Digitisation

Many businesses still are not paperless and have hundreds of client and other physical records which have to be stored, either in cabinets, boxes, microfiche or microfilm. This poses a number of risks to the data itself and carries costs in regard to time, storage and staff productivity.

However, one of the biggest problems with still running a business on a paper basis in the 21stcentury is that it immediately limits the growth potential of the business and puts you behind your competitors. Since 2020 the working world has changed, and many roles can now be done remotely which means accessing physical documents can be more problematic. There are a number of benefits of digitising data including:

·     Saving MoneyManaging, storing and accessing physical records can be expensive and is an on-going cost which will increase in relation to the number of records gathered. With physical documents not only do you need a storeroom, but you may also need a member of staff to curate it (or take staff away from other tasks to maintain the system) as well as having security measures in place to prevent data being accessed by unauthorised people. This becomes more complex and potentially more costly if the data is sensitive.   

·     Saving Space – With no physical records there will be no need for storage space to keep it in, meaning you will save space.

·     Saving Time – Every time a member of staff has to go to the physical stores to locate a particular document it takes time and takes them away from another more beneficial task.

·     Securing Data – With physical documents, there is always the risk of the record being lost, damaged or destroyed. Physical documents can be damaged/destroyed by flood or fire, are susceptible to theft and can over time be damaged by humidity and temperature. The cost of replacing documents in such a situation could be high, or it could be impossible to replace once lost.

·     Increasing Efficiency – With data digitized and stored in the cloud it means that numerous people within the business could have access to the file from anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. In a remote working environment this will increase efficiency within the team as well as enhance customer service.

 ·    Back Up Copies – With digital data, no matter how much of it there is, there will always be a back-up (or there should be) stored on a different server, meaning should the main server get corrupted, or the data encrypted by cyber criminals there will be copies of the data enabling you to continue running your business.

Of course, as with any major change within your business structure, there will be an initial cost associated with the digitisation of your data, as well as costs associated with cloud storage and cloud security. However, over time this will soon run into savings, better staff productivity, a more efficient workforce and improved customer services.

If you would like to talk about the safest way to digitise different forms of data, the implications and costs associated with cloud services as well as the security systems required to keep your data safe give SupportWise a call for a no-obligation chat.