Document storage can be done in many different ways, depending on the nature of your documents and your needs. Whether you’re dealing with something as simple as paper storage or cloud backups, or more complex methods such as different microfilm types, you’ll want to know as much as you can about the different ways of storing documents!
This short guide will tell you about some of the best ways to store documents for your growing business – what they are, how to use them, and some advantages and disadvantages of them too! Read on to find out more about document storage!
Even in a paperless office, nobody is ever truly free of paper documentation! Unfortunately, it’s one of the most cumbersome ways to store documents, and can be difficult to deal with in the long term. Even the most efficient and well-designed document storage system has its limits, and of course there are always limits on space too!
Paper quickly can become unwieldy – and while some important documents are always going to require physical copies, remember that you’re paying rent for every single sheet of paper that you have to store – and document archives tend to grow and grow!
And, if the worst were to happen – a fire or flood could easily destroy all of your documents in one fell swoop!
Having your documents stored digitally on a single computer might make them easier to store, retrieve, and search than if they were in a paper archive – and it will certainly take up a lot less space, as you could fit an entire library of books onto a single hard drive!
However, you still only have one single point of failure – if that computer breaks, all of your documents could well go with it. Having your documents stored in just one place is putting all of your eggs in one basket!
Having your own onsite server can be a great idea if you’re sharing documents amongst many computers – you’ll need a dedicated server to be able to provide your users with the access that they need.
However, you still only have one point of failure here – a single server that holds everything is still a big risk unless you have backups in other locations. Keeping your backup in the same building isn’t a backup at all – it needs to be stored offsite, just in case the worst happens!
Keeping your documents stored in the cloud is a great way to ensure that they are always available should your own storage systems fail. Cloud storage systems are easy to setup nowadays, and will provide the peace of mind that all of your data is backed up offsite and safe.
However, as always, relying on a single backup solution isn’t secure enough – you should always have multiple ways of retrieving all of your documents should a crash, hardware failure, or a natural disaster happen. SO while cloud storage is a great solution, it should always be used in conjunction with other storage methods.
For large archives that need consistent, reliable storage, but maybe don’t need to be accessed as regularly, tape storage is a great storage solution that can be a lot less expensive than the equivalent amount of hard drives. While access times aren’t as quick as disk drives, they more than make up for it in cost-per-gigabyte, and they have a great reliability record.
Of course, always make sure to store a copy of whatever data you have in a different location – preferably a different continent!
While optical disks have been pretty much phased out of use in most cases, there are still people and businesses that rely on data that’s stored on them. Unfortunately, optical discs can easily be damaged – even a light scratch can render the data on them unreadable by your computer. And CD-R and CD-RW discs will decay over time too, which could cause catastrophic data loss if they’re your backup system!
While they might still be convenient for some users, they’re just not reliable in this day and age – much better solutions are available, with far less worry about reliability.
Certain types of documents are still stored on microfilm for long time archival. With proper treatment, microfilm can store important documents for decades. However, for security’s sake, it’s best to make sure that these important documents are also stored digitally in some way!
There are many different ways that documents can be stored. Hopefully this article has helped you learn a little about some of them, and make a more informed choice about what’s right for your needs!