With the costs and inconveniences of paper records storage, digital document storage has become a clear winner for businesses looking to make reduce costs and improve workflow. But, when they decide to begin relying on digital document storage they also must decide what they’ll do with those records that still exist as hard copies. Scanning all remaining records and importing them as new, digital files can be time-consuming and overwhelming. That’s why companies looking to cut down on paper document storage and minimize their storage costs often turn to document scanning services to help them make the transition more quickly.
Choosing the right document scanning service makes a big difference in terms of the privacy, organization, naming, readability, and searchability of your newly digitized records, so selecting a company to trust your records with should be a top concern. Before you select a document scanning service to help you make the transition from paper-based to digital records storage, use these considerations to make sure they’re the right fit.
How do they address privacy?
This, above all, should be a top priority — especially when your business records contain sensitive information such as consumer and HIPAA-protected data. A secure document scanning service should take appropriate measures to ensure your data is only being accessed by authorized users. In the case of HIPAA compliance, this may mean that they need to have formal training to prevent compliance issues. In addition, the service provider you choose should limit access to your records to only authorized personnel, run background checks on their employees, properly shred documents that have been scanned, and have an alarmed and monitored facility with video surveillance.
What scanning technology do they use, and does it have limitations?
You should be aware of what kind of final product you can expect before you send your documents off to be scanned. You likely have an idea of how you want your digital files to look and how you want them to be saved. Make sure they can save your files in the file types that you need, whether those are JPGs, PDFs, TIFFs, etc. You should also ask about their OCR (optical character recognition) software to see how accurate it is, as this will ultimately affect how easily you’ll be able to pull up a document in your system based on a search.
What are their capabilities?
Depending on what you need to scan, the service you’re considering may or may not be able to accommodate your needs. For instance, not all imaging services can scan fragile historical documents, large format prints, and drawings, or bound books.
What type of access will you have to your records while they’re away?
Once you send your records off to be scanned, you may realize you need a specific document in order to fulfill your day-to-day tasks. If you’re worried this may happen, check with the service provider to see how they would be able to assist you in this type of situation. A good provider should be able to locate the documents you need quickly, scan and send them to you within a day so you have the information you need to fulfill your duties.
How will you manage your records after they’ve been digitized?
There are many upsides to digital versus hard copy files and storage, but digital files are not without their risks. Viruses, human error, natural disaster, hardware failure, and more can all contribute to data loss and may cause your business to lose an important document or file — or even your entire archive. Once your records have been digitized, you should define how you’ll store them and prevent data loss. Many businesses make the mistake of having one on-site storage location. While this setup makes records easily retrievable, it also makes them vulnerable. Rather than rely on one, on-site location to handle storage for your important files, you should also back them up with a reliable cloud backup provider to prevent data loss.
A good cloud backup provider, like Nordic Backup, will offer unlimited cloud storage, 256-bit encryption, military-grade security at its data centers, unlimited previous file versioning, and continuous cloud backup — just to name a few.
Not only is cloud backup a good solution to implement for your archived files, but it’s also important for your day-to-day files as well. Make a change you can’t undo? Cloud backup can restore your document to the correct previous file version. Has a virus encrypted your data? If it’s backed up, you’ll be able to revert to a previous file version and get back the data you lost. Has your computer given up, causing you to lose everything you had? Cloud backup can restore all of your documents and files to a new one.