Chaos to Clarity: How Archive and Retrieval Solutions Revolutionise Document Management

February 23, 2024

Effective document management isn’t just valuable for businesses; for those in highly-regulated industries, it’s essential. Delve into the downsides of physical storage, and explore the transformative benefits of a digital archive and retrieval solution.

The amount of data produced each year is growing at such an exponential rate, that for the first time in 30 years, new units of measurement have been created just to account for all the bytes. It may sound like more than we can chew, but navigating this sea of information is critical for upholding compliance, security, collaboration, and efficiency in business, especially for those in the finance sector.

As the demand for effective document management heightens, organisations find themselves drowning in disorganised storage systems, struggling to find the information they need to do their jobs efficiently.

To stay afloat, they need a digital archive and retrieval solution: an indispensable tool for solving the most common document management challenges, offering a plethora of benefits that drive cost-saving, collaboration, productivity and compliance.

Where are businesses going wrong?

Although we live in a digital age, many businesses are still reliant on slow, paper-based processes and physical documentation which is expensive to store, difficult to search through, and challenging to secure.

Studies show that almost half of UK businesses are still operating a physical paper filing system, despite 48% of businesses recognising that it is difficult to find what they need quickly, and 46% admitting they struggle to find the physical space to store the files. While some may resort to off-site storage centres as a solution, this can incur a huge cost and make it even more challenging to locate and share documents in a timely manner.

Some downsides of physical document archiving:

  • Requires a lot of storage space
  • Expensive to facilitate and manage
  • Higher risk of loss and damage
  • Doesn’t enable collaborative or flexible working
  • Challenging to organise and retrieve
  • Harder to meet compliance and security requirements

Are digital workplaces immune to document management challenges?

Even workplaces that have embraced digital transformation can still struggle with document management. Companies often attempt to solve every business challenge with a new application, overwhelming teams with workplace technology without a unified strategy for how it should be used. Recent studies have shown that 47% of digital workers struggle to find information or data needed to effectively perform their jobs, highlighting that a digital approach still requires the right solution.

What can a digital archive and retrieval system do for businesses?

A digital archive and retrieval solution involves a structured approach to storing digital records, but it offers so much more than a mere home for your documents. Unlike cloud storage platforms such as OneDrive or Dropbox, which simply store and back-up your data, a document management solution enables you to store, index, encrypt, back-up and trace your documents, often with automation capabilities to easily process them too.

These solutions make documents highly searchable, instantly available, and easily retrievable, no matter where you are working from.

Let’s delve into some of the features and benefits:

Some document management platforms can integrate with your existing infrastructures, so you can continue to use the tools you’re familiar with without any complicated set-up. These are well suited to SMBs who mainly want to secure their documents, and access and share files easily.

More comprehensive solutions are available for larger businesses, or those with complex workflows and specific software they rely on. These tools offer higher levels of integration with a range of third-party systems, including ERP and CRM platforms, making it easier to manage your workflows too.

Whether it’s a PDF, email, spreadsheet or image, businesses can easily archive a range of document formats. Even physical documents can be scanned and captured, so they can be stored digitally.

Secure Access
Archive solutions offer secure, controlled access, so only authorised users have access to files stored in your system. This means the most confidential documents can have the strictest access controls, helping you meet data protection requirements.

Traceability and Compliance
For highly regulated industries, such as finance, compliance is a top priority. Digital archive systems help in adhering to regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, and SEC requirements by providing tools for data retention policies and audit trails. Document version controls enable you to track who has added, amended, or deleted a document, and when the changes took place, so you can keep accurate audit logs of your records. This is ideal for documents that are subject to retention and require a trace of all changes and revisions, and also prevents users spending valuable time searching for the most recent version of a document, which can be a drain on productivity.

Indexing makes your documents highly searchable, so you can find them in an instant based on index values, keywords, or document type. What’s more, with an archive and retrieval solution, they are accessible from one place, and available for retrieval on-the-go. This is vital for collaboration, especially with distributed teams working from different locations.

Disaster Recovery
Digital systems offer data redundancy and backup capabilities, safeguarding against loss due to disasters such as fires and floods – a major risk when storing physical documentation – or cyber-attacks. This ensures business continuity and minimal disruption to operations, while preventing the costly impact of data loss.

The Key Takeaway

Gone are the days of drowning in documents. A dedicated archive and retrieval solution turns the chaos of document management into a clear-cut system, free from the costs, liabilities, and inefficiencies associated with a paper-based approach. While digital archiving is a move in the right direction, this doesn’t mean that documents will be secure or easy to find. For a truly stress-free and streamlined approach, opt for a digital document archive and retrieval solution.

Why not get in touch to see how Toshiba can help?

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