Document storage can be a hassle for many companies. One of the largest considerations a business must make is whether to store documents at its office or at an offsite location.

Businesses have large amounts of data, and government requirements for both tax and business purposes can make record retention a daunting task. While much of today’s data is electronic or paperless, businesses must still have access to older paper records. Storing documents onsite has several disadvantages:

Disadvantages of Onsite Document Storage

  • It takes up valuable office space. An archival self-storage space can take up office space that would be better used by employees.
  • Self-storage takes your employees’ time to manage and archive the data.
  • Organization is up to you. Multiple people will probably have access to the records and maintaining organization (and finding anything when you need it) may be a challenge.
  • No disaster recovery contingency. What happens if a building catches fire, a pipe breaks, or some other disaster affects the archived data? What about security from those who want to steal your data?

The Benefits of Storing Data and Documents Offsite

Because of the disadvantages noted above, more businesses choose to store their documents offsite. Choosing this method has several advantages:

  • Offsite storage maximizes office space. Many businesses retain their paper documents for at least seven years, and some for as long as the business has been around. Hiring a company to come in and take the records offsite can free up space to expand the business.
  • Offsite data storage increases your business security. Business documents include confidential and personal information. As such, documents require the best protection possible. Document storage centers are securely built to protect records from damage that might occur at an office not meant for such a purpose. These facilities are also created with security measures in place to keep your important information protected from theft and prying eyes.
  • Choosing an offsite method increases file accessibility. Searching for a file that’s been misplaced can be a chore, not to mention a waste of business productivity. Storing files offsite is a simple way to ensure that files will be available whenever businesses need them. By utilizing document tracking systems, such as file folder indexing, businesses never have to worry about misplaced files again.
  • Offsite storage offers valuable peace of mind. With added security, document tracking capability, and efficient use of space, having your data offsite gives businesses peace of mind knowing that their documents are safe and sound. This type of security is worth its weight in gold.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Onsite and Offsite

1. Cost

Cost is an important consideration when choosing between onsite and offsite data storage. Onsite storage requires a substantial upfront investment in hardware, software, and infrastructure. On the other hand, offsite storage operates on a subscription basis, turning storage costs into an operating expense.

2. Data Volume

The volume of data you need to store should influence your decision. If your organization handles large volumes of data, offsite storage could provide the necessary scalability. Onsite storage, however, can be more cost-effective for smaller data volumes.

3. Security Requirements

Depending on the nature of your data, you might have specific security requirements. With onsite storage, you have full control over security protocols. In contrast, offsite storage providers offer robust security measures.

4. Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is crucial in data management. Offsite storage typically offers built-in disaster recovery solutions. Onsite storage, however, may require additional investment in redundant systems and offsite backup.

Hybrid Data Storage – Combining Onsite and Offsite

Benefits of a Hybrid Approach

Hybrid data storage blends the advantages of both onsite and offsite storage. It combines the control and fast access of onsite storage with the disaster resilience and scalability of offsite solutions.

Ideal Use Cases

A hybrid approach is ideal for organizations that need to balance accessibility, security, cost, and disaster recovery. For example, you might keep frequently accessed data onsite for speed, while storing less critical or less frequently accessed data offsite for cost savings and disaster protection.

Managing a Hybrid Environment

Management can be more complex in a hybrid environment due to the need to coordinate onsite and offsite resources. However, this complexity can be mitigated with proper planning and the use of data management tools.

Offsite document storage provides several valuable services to businesses. Partnering with a top-quality data storage and management company is the key to success. Armstrong Archives offers comprehensive data storage and accessibility services to businesses of all sizes. For more information and to learn more about what we offer, please contact us.

Sherri Taylor

Posted By: Sherri Taylor – President/Managing Partner

Sherri Taylor is the Managing Partner and President of Armstrong Archives, one of the largest independent records and information management companies in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.

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