Malevolent weather seems to have been the theme of past year. During the Alberta floods and the Ontario ice storm, many Canadian businesses experienced property damage that resulted in service disruptions lasting several days. The length of time it takes to re-open after a catastrophic event will determine the overall longevity of your company. Business Continuity Planning ensures that there are advance procedures in place to maintain or resume key operations quickly when disruptive events arise.
In its initial stages, BCP identifies internal and external threats that will affect the delivery of critical services and products to clients. However, businesses often overlook a key area of vulnerability: paper files. Losing important documents can hinder recovery efforts and increase costs. Not only does digital record storage provide additional security for your files, but gives management some flexibility in tailoring successful continuity plans. So why hasn’t everyone adopted digital records as part BCP? Let’s take a look at some of the misconceptions of digital record storage.
Backing up Digital Records is Costly
Traditionally, duplicating digital records also meant replicating your entire document management system. Large co-operations often set-up cold sites: alternate locations with additional servers and other equipment that are not in used in day-to-day operations. Although cold-sites greatly reduce down-time after a major disruption, it requires a large investment in hardware capital and ongoing maintenance to keep data and software products up-to-date. Photocopying and paper file storage may seem like the more affordable route, but backing up your files does not have to be an extravagant affair. Cloud management systems provide cost effective yet secure back-up options for small to mid-size businesses. Users only pay a subscription fee based on how much storage space they will use, giving them access to a remote database with built-in security features. Data duplication from the production site to the cloud is automatic, eliminating the need to physically copy, transport, and upload files onto an alternate server.
Paper is more Accessible (and Reliable)
Some who prefer to keep a hardcopy of business data onsite may fear the perils of depending on technology. After all, it’s close by in case of emergency and easy to understand. But paper is not a hardy material; it quickly turns to slush or kindling in a flood or fire. Its lightweight texture means it’s easily moved (i.e. misplaced or stolen). True reliability means the ability to access information anytime, anywhere, and by multiple people at once. Documents captured digitally are preserved in fixed formats, which ensure the integrity of your information. During the recovery process, employees can obtain these files remotely, allowing key operations to continue.
Don’t be caught off-guard by unforeseen events. If accessing information is critical to your company’s core operations, safeguard your data with digital record storage. Contact MES today to discover how going digital can help improve your business continuity plans.