Paper Records vs. Electronic Records: Which Is Better For Your Business?
In an era when an increasing amount of daily business forms are either generated or stored electronically, physical records still remain important in many situations. A variety of industries still utilize physical record-keeping and storage systems, or some hybrid version that operates using a combination of physical records and their digitized copies.
Which is better for your business? The answer likely depends on several factors, including how often you need to access past records, how long you’re required to keep them, and the level of security you require. Both physical and electronic records have their advantages, so it’s up to you to decide which works best for your business.
Benefits of Paper Records
In many industries, the benefit of using paper records simply comes down to two things: consistency, and legal requirements. For example, in law, law enforcement, real estate, or medicine, printed documents such as case files, court records, contracts, leasing agreements, lab reports, handwritten notes, and medical records can all be legally necessary to use and store for a certain period of time. As for consistency, paper records in many organizations are useful because they utilize existing systems that work so efficiently that the cost of changing or upgrading them is higher than the cost of continuing their use.
Physical Record Management Systems
When it comes to managing the storage of physical records, the chief concerns are the security of the documents, the efficiency of their organization, and their ease of access in the event they’re needed. Many offices lack the adequate space or secure facilities to maintain such a system, and choose to utilize a third-party storage solution such as Armstrong Archives. Companies like ours have the space, infrastructure, and assets necessary to provide secure long- or short-term storage for your physical records.
Benefits of Electronic Records
The benefits of electronic records and record-keeping systems are numerous. Quicker access to information, increased reliability and efficiency, and reduced costs are all significant factors in most organizations’ choice to either utilize a completely electronic record-keeping system or digitize their existing physical records (electronic records and digital records are different. Another clear advantage of electronic records is maintenance — electronic records and record-keeping systems simply require much less infrastructure and manpower to maintain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a business need to keep both digital and physical records?
This depends on the needs of your business, including how long you need to keep your records (both legally and practically), and how frequently you need to access those records. If you are legally required to keep physical copies for an extended period of time, then you’ll need an efficient system and appropriate storage space and security measures to safely utilize them.
What is the most effective way of records management?
If your organization requires easy access to its records, electronic record-keeping systems can be helpful and efficient. Each company’s needs are different, however: what’s important is to find a method and system that works best for your individual needs.
Electronic data or physical data: which one is safer?
While physical data is certainly more susceptible to natural disaster or utility failures like plumbing incidents, electronic data is more are at risk from thieves. Whether you keep electronic or physical records, it’s important to trust the security of the systems keeping your records safe. Armstrong Archives strictly adheres to all regulatory standards allowing you access when you need it.
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