Disaster Preparedness in Records Management: Ensure Business Continuity With Electronic Documents
We live in an unpredictable world. Hurricanes, floods, and other disasters can instantly derail a business. But, these events are rare – which means that many companies fail to think about topics such as disaster recovery, data protection, and business continuity.
This isn’t exactly a winning proposition – it’s more like an incredibly risky gamble. But, companies that invest in electronic records management don’t have to spend their time or effort thinking about “what if” situations. They can effortlessly prevent the loss of documents and data, simply by moving to digital storage.
Fire, Flood, Hurricane, and Tornado-Proof Document Management
Instead of storing your most important business documents in a filing cabinet or closet, you can have electronic copies instantly saved in an electronic archive. Document imaging software converts your paperwork in seconds, and your data is protected for life – no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.
So what does it take to protect your paper files? With the right document management system, it only takes seconds to scan in and archive your company’s physical records. (Any basic office scanner will do the trick.) Each file is categorized and saved in a central electronic repository – with routine back-ups keeping everything up-to-date.
And because today’s approach to business involves many different types of communication? The most comprehensive document storage systems offer solutions for emails, PDFs, and even new documents that are generated by your ERP – which means that you don’t have to worry about content getting lost on disassociated servers, platforms, and machines. You can capture everything you need to preserve, in any format, across your entire organization.
Digital Record Management vs. Off-Site Document Storage
To keep their content secure, some companies invest in off-site document storage. But being realistic: most companies choose off-site storage services that are located nearby, as it’s much easier to retrieve documents when they’re needed if your vendor is located in your same city and state. If a large storm comes through, it’s likely to impact an entire geographical area – which means that off-site documents are just as likely to be affected.
Plus, off-site document storage isn’t updated in real time. If a disaster were to hit, you’d only be able to recover the files that you’d sent away prior to the event. Overall, this makes the solution impractical, and the cost unjustified.
Making digital copies, however, is much less expensive – and a much more reliable contingency plan. If your physical business is affected, you’ll have backups of all your important records, instantly accessible from any internet-connected computer or mobile device. With electronic document management, you can get back to “business as usual” as quickly as possible.
More Considerations for Business Disaster Recovery Planning
Of course, there are quite a few things to think about before you decide on a solution. As you work on a backup plan, spend some time answering the following questions:
- How much down-time would your business be able to afford? A few days? A few weeks? A month?
- How long would your business survive if you weren’t generating any new income?
- If your supplier invoices were destroyed, would you still know what needs to be paid before you’re sent to collections?
- Would your customers and prospects lose trust in your ability to deliver their orders? When would they become likely to leave you for a competitor?
- Will your own employees and contractors be able to stick around while you re-build your corporate infrastructure?
- What would be the total cost of restoring operations to your normal, pre-disaster level?
- If you were to start operating remotely while dealing with water removal, flood restoration, or debris cleanup at your damaged facilities, would your employees have access to the data they need to get their jobs done?
Unfortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 40 to 60 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster. But, they also cite a comprehensive records management plan as one of three important recovery considerations (along with emergency supplies and an IT recovery policy for computer hardware and equipment). The message is clear: data protection is a critical initiative. To set your organization up for a best-case scenario, take the time to develop – and implement – comprehensive business plan.
Choosing IntelliChief as Part of Your Disaster Preparedness & Records Management Plan
Whether you’re a brand new business or a long-standing enterprise, it’s always the right time to be thinking about protecting your assets. IntelliChief’s electronic document management program is a valuable aspect of any business continuity plan – and we’re here to show you just how effortless recovery planning can be.
We’ll help you think your entire plan through. From customer records to employee records, we have solutions for all of your critical content. Plus, permission-based access means that even when you’re in crisis mode, your crucial documents are always secure and protected. To learn more, contact us today.