Should My Company Keep Both Digital & Physical Records?

Business owners of all kinds place a high priority on protecting company records. Deciding on keeping both physical and digital records depends on your industry and state regulations and retention schedules.

Company trade secrets, health or legal records, receipts, customer personal and financial iformation and competitive information are some of the most stored tems. Whether you decide to keep both physical and digital files of your records depends on a number of variables, but any storage used should include backup plans, it is usually best to contact a professional records management company to securely store your records. This also helps free up any space you may need in the future. 

Assess Your Needs

Before developing the ideal process to store your company records, consider which documents you must save to comply with federal or state rules, which might be important to cover yourself in case of lawsuits and which don’t need to be saved for legal purposes. For example, state laws vary about how long an attorney must keep all client records. Federal healthcare laws require providers to keep patient records for a certain period of time. Additionally, you should consider the amount of space you have to store files, the costs associated with scanning and storing physical records electronically and the technological abilities of your current hardware and software.

Create a Plan to Safeguard Records

The mismanagement of data is one of the most likely causes of a data breach. Each year the amount of data breaches and people affected grows exponentially. To ensure the availability of your records, you need to institute copying processes so that you can always access your records, no matter what happens. For those records for which you are legally bound to keep original files for a period of time, make copies of those originals that you can store off-site in case of a fire or break-in. Other records that you aren’t required to keep can be scanned and digitally uploaded to your servers. Most companies take advantage of off-site storing of copies of digital files as well in case of theft by hackers.

Consider the Importance of Access

For the most part digital company records are going to be records you need to access regularly. For example, you may need access to your files when away from your office. Files stored on remote servers typically can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. If there is no legal reason to keep physical documents, you might want to consider secure destruction. If you choose to store hard copies off-site at a facility like Crown Records Management, we offer easy access by delivering records to you.

Crown Records Management assists with your document and records management journey

The explosion of corporate information, the variety of information types, the growth of hardware and software, and the many ways data is processed, transferred and stored has created a vast and confusing information universe.

Our services guide you, giving you a clearer picture of your world. We’ll help you integrate physical and electronic data assets and understand how information flows through your business. We’ll advise on developing excellent standards for data governance, mitigating risks and improving compliance.

We’ll even address the challenges of storage, access and secure destruction.