Going Paperless: What to Do with Existing Data

Going Paperless: What to Do with Existing Data

There are many reasons why companies are going paperless. Some common causes include saving money, saving time, and protecting the environment.

According to a study by The Paperless Project, businesses can save up to $20 per employee per month by going paperless. That’s a lot of money! And that’s not even taking into account the time savings.

In addition to the financial benefits, there are also environmental benefits to going paperless. For example, the New York Times reported that if every American reduced their paper consumption by just 10 percent, it would be the equivalent of taking 1.6 million cars off the road.

There are many benefits to going paperless. If you’re still unsure if it’s right for your business, consider talking to a consultant who can help you evaluate your specific needs. However, it can be challenging to change the way you handle business data suddenly. The migration to digital channels will not be easy, but it is possible. Here are a few steps to consider when making the switch.

Decide Which Data to Keep

Data is a valuable business asset, but not everything is worth investing resources in during migration. Some data is essential to the business and should remain helpful, while others may not be as important.

Classify your data into different categories, such as customer information, financial records, or employee data. From there, you can decide which data must be stored and which can be discarded. With that said, you never know when you’ll need specific data, even if it feels like they are not helpful today. Fortunately, you can rely on archive storage solutions to help you keep historical data while freeing up space on your primary storage devices.

Convert Data into Digital Format

The next step is converting all your paper documents into digital format. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common is to scan the document and save it as a PDF.

You may consider investing in a document scanner if you have many documents. This will make the process much faster and easier. Once all your documents are in digital format, you can store them on your computer or in the cloud.

However, data comes in various forms. Photos, videos, audio, and more can be digitized and stored. Many service providers offer this assistance if you need help converting your data.

Organize Your Data

After your data is digital, it’s time to start organizing it. This will make it easier to find what you need when you need it.

There are a few different ways to organize your data. One standard method is to create folders for each category of data. For example, you may have a folder for customer information, another for financial records, etc.

Another way to organize your documents is by using tags or keywords. This makes it easy to search for specific documents later on.

Additionally, you may want to consider using a document management system. This type of system can help you keep track of your documents and who has access to them.

Set Up Backup and Recovery

Using the cloud for data backup

Once your data is digital, it’s essential to set up a backup and recovery plan. This will ensure that your information is safe during a disaster.

There are many different ways to back up your data. One standard method is to use an external hard drive. You can also use the cloud or a network-attached storage device.

Whatever method you choose, it’s essential to have at least two data backups. This way, you’ll always have a copy in case one is lost or damaged.

In addition to backing up your data, you’ll also need to set up a recovery plan. This plan will help you get your data back in a disaster.

The essential part of any recovery plan is to have a backup of your data. Without a backup, you won’t be able to recover your data if it’s lost or damaged. Additionally, you’ll need to know how to restore your data from the backup.

There are many different ways to back up and recover your data. You’ll need to choose the method that best suits your needs.

Discard Data Properly

As unhelpful as it might be, data could end up harming your business if it falls into the wrong hands. As a result, you’ll need to discard any physical documents properly.

This usually means shredding or destroying documents so others can’t read them. However, you may want to consider recycling if the documents are made of paper.

You should also delete any digital copies of the data you no longer need. This will help ensure that the information is gone and can’t get recovered by someone else.

Data can be a valuable asset to your business. However, keeping only what you need and discarding the rest properly is essential. Doing this can protect your business and keep your data safe.

Final Thoughts

Going paperless can seem daunting, but it’s not as difficult as it may seem. You can easily switch to digital channels with proper planning and preparation.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be on your way to a paperless office in no time.

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