Document management is a core function in organizations especially the ones that deal with highly sensitive data. An organization may have too many records and documents that are not required for day-to-day operations. This makes it necessary to archive them. Document archiving allows organizations to reference documents in the future. The archiving can be done by an organization’s employees or by a third party paid to offer the service.
Document archiving has become a complex process over the years as organizations produce and store a lot more data. A variety of media and formats are also used to store data, making archiving even more difficult. Organizations have to think about the kind of data to archive. It is also essential to consider where the data will be kept and how frequently it should be archived. Documents can only be archived when they are no longer in active use. The data has to be cleaned to remove temporary versions before it is archived in a secure place.
Effective document archiving is only possible if an organization has clearly outlined and well-defined policy. Every staff member who should be aware of the archiving also needs to know about the archiving policy. This policy has to identify the value of archiving documents. The archiving policies should be distinguished from backup procedures to ensure document safety.
Organizations also need to establish risk-management procedures and policies in relation to critical data. It may be necessary to identify advanced procedures to archive sensitive documents. A company can archive sensitive documents in both paper and electronic forms and store them in different locations.
Electronic archiving is one of the options that organizations can consider to reduce the amount of physical space used. This form of archiving also makes it easy for employees to access documents when necessary.
A large number of organizations prefer to scan documents and ensure their soft copies are secured instead of storing data in hard copies. Scanners allow personnel to capture images of documents and store them on hard drives or servers. Digital archiving is better compared to physical storage because an organization will only require virtual space. Organizations can also use companies that store documents digitally for a charge. Digital archiving can eliminate physical records in an office, creating more space.
Another important aspect to address during electronic document archiving is the format to use. Once documents have been scanned, they can be stored in form of BMP, JPEG, and TIFF. It is also possible to scan documents directly to a PDF format. One of the main drawbacks of digital archiving is that the technology is dynamic and this means that you may not be able to view a document in future.
Companies also need to determine the most appropriate archiving schedule. It is important to have a procedure that will establish when documents need to be archived. This should be an automatic procedure. An organization can take advantage of the latest software programs to ensure effective archiving.
Document archiving can reduce an organization’s operation costs because it reduces physical storage needs. It can also enhance productivity because it makes it easy for employees to access data to carry out their roles.