Business data is the lifeline of a company. It represents all their information in its most raw and unprocessed form. As such, data is very sensitive and needs to be kept safe. To achieve compliance requirements and ensure that all necessary information is at hand when needed, they need to embrace archiving as a business practice.
What is Archiving, and Why is it Important?
Archiving is the process of safekeeping essential data, whether that be in the form of physical records or digital files. By properly archiving your documents, you can ensure that they are kept safe and organized, making them easy to find and access when needed.
This can be especially helpful for businesses that comply with specific regulations or are subject to audits. Additionally, archived files can be a valuable resource in a disaster or other emergency.
Emphasizing the Importance of an Archive
In a world with rapidly evolving technology, it is vital to keep records safe and accessible to ensure that nothing is lost over time. Archiving your records or files can help save you money, improve productivity, and better protect your business from different contingencies.
Of course, it is not always easy to get started with archiving, especially if you are dealing with a large volume of paper or electronic documents. However, it is crucial to take care of this task sooner rather than later to save yourself stress, frustration, and money down the road.
Archiving also preserves history, memories, and stories for future generations to learn from. It is about ensuring that the past remains present in some tangible way after it has passed. For instance, if you checked the archived files of SMRT Corp, Singapore’s leading transit provider, you would see the years and years of service they have dedicated to their nation.
You would also see the different people who held the title “SMRT Chairman” over the years. This is important because it tells people not only about the company but also about Singapore. When you look at the names and read about their accomplishments, you start to see a sequence of stories take shape that has been passed down from one generation to the next.
By setting up an archiving system, you are doing much more than just preserving your business records — you are conserving your organization’s shared history.
5 Ways to Archive Your Business Records
You can archive physical records and digital files in many ways, though some may be more effective than others. Here are some ideas to get you started:
#1 File Cabinets
This is the simplest method for organizing physical records. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colours to accommodate any materials you choose to file.
#2 Bar Coding
Barcoding is an effective way to keep track of your records once they’ve been digitized. Not only does it simplify the process, but it also makes files more accessible to employees and other individuals who may need access to them.
#3 Document Imaging
The days of scanning physical documents are long gone, thanks in large part to the prevalence of document imaging solutions that allow you to digitize your records. Not only does this provide a safer alternative to fragile paper files, but it can also help with compliance requirements and establish more efficient workflows.
#4 Storage Software
Ensuring that the right records are stored correctly is vital for maintaining a healthy archive. Storage software can help you do this by allowing you to create many custom rules and regulations that your records must meet to be stored where they need to be.
#5 Policy-Driven Retention
Organizing your files into a cohesive archive is not easy, especially if they have been around for a while. What’s worse, many older records may not be as accessible or valuable as you would like, so it makes sense to take a more proactive approach to your retention policy. When documents have reached the end of their lifecycle, they should be securely destroyed to prevent unauthorized access.
How to Choose the Right Archiving Method for Your Business?
Now that you understand the importance of archiving records or files in business, it is necessary to discuss how to do this. Consider these factors when choosing the right system for your business:
- Compliance Requirements — What laws or regulations are you required to follow? How do they affect your archiving system?
- Security — How are your files stored physically? What steps have you taken to ensure that they remain protected against accidents or malicious attacks?
- Ease of Use — How easy is the system to use? What kind of training will be required of new hires or customers?
- Productivity — Does the system increase productivity across your organization? Will it save time and effort when compared to other archiving methods?
When records or files are kept safe and organized, businesses can rest easy knowing that their shared history is safe from harm. So, even if you may not think that your records are vital, it is important to look back on your work and be proud of what you have achieved.