Storing physical documents can cost organizations nearly $30 per document. And that cost is only going to increase as the cost of office space in our cities continues to rise. With this in mind, effective document management in today’s business is vital. Without it, you’re potentially leaving your business exposed to a whole host of issues, ranging from high costs to security risks.
Let’s take a moment to look at some of the key issues.
In this highly digital age, it may seem surprising that many businesses still rely heavily on physical documentation in their day to day business activities. Recent research has revealed that as much as 95% of business information is recorded on paper-based documentation. That raises some big challenges.
How do you securely store all these paper-based documents? Can you store these securely onsite or do you need to buy expensive storage in a specialist facility?
There’s also an issue of accessing, retrieving and sharing physical documents. Obtaining documents from secure storage locations take time and it also incurs further cost. There’s also a potential for loss with as many as 7.5% of all paper documents getting lost.
Document loss has significant implications. Not only do they need to be reproduced, resulting in the need for more time and resource while they are being recreated, there is also the issue of security. Some 40% of data breaches are paper-based.
These breaches generally fall into the following categories:
- Loss or theft of paperwork (14%)
- Paperwork posted or faxed to the wrong recipient (19%)
- Data left in an insecure location (4%)
- Insecure disposal of paper (3%)
Collaboration, remote working and working on the move are also severely curtailed by physical documents. The inability to share data digitally will undermine business effectiveness and service delivery, resulting in poor business performance and reduced revenues.
Digital Document Management
Thankfully not all businesses are stuck in a physical paper-based world. Many now regularly create digital documents enabling improved collaboration, sharing and reduced storage costs. However, while these businesses recognize the value of being digital, many still underestimate the challenges and threats of poor document management software.
A high percentage of businesses rely on internal servers or mainstream shadow storage services such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. On the surface, these solutions appear to be a robust and effective solution. But dig a little deeper, and you soon discover problems.
Saving documents requires users to consistently save to a company approved storage location, whether that be a local server or a company’s ‘approved’ shadow storage solution. However, the temptation for employees to save files locally to hard drives or to a ‘non-approved’ shadow storage makes them inaccessible to others.
In these situations, employee productivity can be impacted by as much as 21% and workers spending on average 18 minutes searching for a document when it has been saved in a ‘non-approved’ location or badly indexed. Research has shown that almost 4 out of 5 employees have experienced the need to recreate existing documents since they can’t find them in their company network.
Another key challenge is version control and the ability to work on documents via mobile devices.
Without professional document management software in place, version control is at the discretion of individual users. Inevitability this can lead to documents being overwritten and data getting lost, again hampering productivity and service delivery. As many as 83% of employees struggle with versioning issues.
Effective collaboration requires each individual to be working on the most up-to-date document. But if you don’t have document software in place that saves each document in real-time, then there is a good chance an outdated version is used instead. With the version control options in a document management system, everyone can see who made what changes and when, and all changes will be made instantly for all users.
81% of employees raised the need for mobile access to company documents. With modern working practices, that’s to be expected. While the digitization of documents can help to facilitate this, it doesn’t provide the user benefits of a professional document management solution.
Freeing your employees to view, edit and sign documents on the go requires the more progressive features offered by a professional document solution. Currently, 74% of employees can’t electronically sign documents using a mobile device. By integrating e-signatures into your workflow can reduce document turnaround times by as much as 80%, allowing users to review and instantly sign them at a time and location that is convenient for them.
Long term gains
There are many compelling individual reasons and statistics for why your business should move to a professional document management solution. But if you boil all these down into one focused reason it’s this …
Over five years of investment in a professional document management system results in a 404% ROI and safeguards your business from the risk of document loss and data theft. (IDC)