Published 23rd of November 2018

Physical vs Digital Data Storage - which is the best?

Many of our clients choose to store their sensitive information with us either in physical documents or through digital data storage. However, how do you decide which option is best for your business?


Physical Data Storage

Our most private and sensitive documents are increasingly stored as digital copies, whether it’s on applications like Google Docs or Microsoft Office. Working with digital copies is becoming more commonplace, yet there are relatively few businesses that work solely with digital files. Contracts are often still signed by hand, important information is printed and employees often prefer working with paper than staring at backlit electronic devices. Proofreaders and translators will know that checking for grammatical or factual mistakes is far easier in hard copy than online, meaning that these industries are likely to always need physical data storage.


One advantage of physical storage is that it requires less time to arrange. We can supply you with document storage boxes, which you can then use to differentiate between different types of documents. You can choose to store the boxes in-house or at our state-of-the-art facilities, where each box can be given a barcode to better track the contents of the box during transportation to our facilities and whenever the documents are brought out of storage. Deciding to store your data digitally may require more time to scan and organise into different categories on our system.


Another advantage of storing hard copies of sensitive documents is that certain information requires a level of authenticity that digital copies cannot provide. For example, a company’s auditors may request original purchase invoices or VAT sales to have undeniable proof of certain terms or transactions. A good rule of thumb is to have hard copies of documentation for at least the last six years, which will often take up significant amounts of space. Take a look at our document storage services.


Digital Data Storage

Digital data storage also offers some significant advantages for all types of business, one being that document scanning frees up office space. Rather than storing dozens of boxes in cupboards and under desks, document scanning stores your sensitive data on a convenient, space-saving electronic archive. This not only frees up valuable space, but it also makes retrieving files a much less laborious task. Files can be searched for and retrieved instantaneously instead of having to find a particular cabinet or draw.


In addition, digital data storage has the advantage of being entirely encrypted and password protected. Third parties can no longer read or copy your files illegally without your knowledge, as access can be granted on an individual basis and tracked after the fact. This solution will therefore provide a more secure solution for certain businesses, giving them the ability to grant and revoke access to information at will.


Digital data storage is also cost-effective. Buying paper is expensive, even in bulk, and storing important documents online helps employees reduce the number of pages they use every year. Printing can also be incredibly expensive, from the price of purchasing the printers to buying the ink. If documents are produced simply to be later put into storage, it makes sense that businesses do so online rather than printing hard copies. Financial directors and business managers are always looking for ways to cut costs, and digital data storage is an easy way to do so.


Which is right for your business?

Every business is different, which is why we work with each of our clients to find a document storage solution that suits their particular needs. If your business works primarily with paper documents, having a physical data storage solution is essential. If your business is looking to go paperless and needs to scan existing documents, we can also provide our services. We can even safely destroy the original documents and issue a certificate of destruction. Alternatively, you may require a combination of both.


If you’re interested in how Shredall SDS Group could help your organisation manage its sensitive documents, we’d love to hear from you.