In recent years, technology has led companies to migrate documents and processes to electronic formats to provide greater accessibility and guarantee information security. How? Through the implementation of digital archiving.
Do you know what it is and what are the advantages of using it? Find out right now in this post.
What is Digital Archiving?
Digital archiving can be explained as a substitute for your paper archive: its main function is to store and preserve documents generated in digital format.
Likewise, this can be called a file, which is equivalent to a data unit that can be used by means of applications installed on a computer.
The main needs covered by digital archive are the construction and provision of a single space for consultation and storage of all types of digital information, i.e. data, documents, images, and video that facilitates data classification.
That can help avoid duplication of information, whose main objective in organizations is to save time and money by having an innovative alternative for the dissemination of documents.
How does Digital Archiving work?
Among the peculiarities that a digital archive must have, we find:
- Guaranteeing authenticity, integrity, and readability
- Validation and preservation of digital signatures
- Technology watch and format conversions
- Management of retention periods
In the context of digital transformation, a proper digital archive is a necessary key to success.
The digital archive will help you to demonstrate the legal validity of your digital information and to manage retention periods for the company’s critical records (vital records), such as contracts and customer correspondence.
It is possible to migrate physical files to a digital format and achieve non-discrimination by respecting the following basic steps:
- Choose the information we want to convert.
- Digitize information through scanners or cameras in documents or images.
- Index and classify the material so that its search and dissemination are accessible.
- Store the information in a digital archive. Also, it is essential to consider the principles of compliance that exist in each country to make all electronic documents valid and legal for certain processes before the authorities.
For example, when digital documents belonging to the accounting area are used for audits in Europe, they must bear an electronic signature endorsed and recognized by the Treasury and Public Credit System. Some even need watermarks to protect the document.
Advantages of Digital Archive:
The use of digital archives represents several advantages, among which we highlight:
1. Homogenization of document storage and archiving
Using one archive for several use cases can allow you to find information more easily and quickly instead of looking at several sources. A proper solution can be used for all of these use cases:
- Validation and Preservation of Digital Signatures
- Archiving of documents that have retention periods
- Archiving data and documents from decommissioned systems such as AS/400, SAP/R3, Pronto, SharePoint, Documentum, etc.
- Moving information from costly cloud storage (e.g. Salesforce or SharePoint online) to cheaper storage, while preserving compliance
- Archiving for system consolidation and modernization
- Scan archive
- Customer correspondence archive (e.g. for Mifid II)
- Qualified Electronic Archiving for eIDAS
- Achieving GDPR compliance by limiting access to information that contains PII
Using one archive for several use cases can allow you to find information more easily and quickly.
2. Greater efficiency in business operations
Having all the necessary documents classified and organized on one central system will save hours of work searching for files.
The provision of a digital archive allows connecting all the departments of a company and generating synergy between them through access to all the information required to make negotiations, purchases, inventory lists, contracts, and invoices, among other tasks.
3. Increased ROI
That’s how it is! Your company will experience positive impacts on ROI, because thanks to the use of digital archiving you will be able to reduce costs and increase the quality of information management within your business.
4. Safe document storage
A digital archive is a tool that is in a certified system: thus, it becomes an option that eliminates and prevents the possibility of a loss of information and the dissemination of legal and exclusive documents of an organization.
The use of a digital archive allows to establish an access hierarchy by means of authorizations and restrictions of reading and modifications according to the profile of each user; in turn, it helps to comply with regulations, since its use implies compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Also, this solution reduces the risk of information theft due to all the security filters it must prevent any physical or digital manipulation of the documents it manages.
5. Saving physical space and time
Eliminating physical documents creates free spaces: the huge shelves in your warehouse that are full of file cabinets can migrate to digital format and be within reach of a few clicks on your computer.
At the same time, your business will greatly reduce daily paper consumption, which also leads to space savings per square meter by not using more physical documents or shelves.
Likewise, this will mean that you do not need more printers and various office supplies that usually require maintenance.
The use of a digital archive allows the visualization of the documents regardless of the location or the distance between the user and the server of these, giving way to the elimination of parcel or courier expenses in your business.
Therefore, your company will be more sustainable, and it will be possible to position it in a better way through public relations strategies and campaigns: corporate social responsibility is definitely a very important competitive advantage in today’s market.
6. Risk elimination
Digital archiving can keep copies even from different physical locations and eliminates the risk of catastrophes or accidents such as fires and earthquakes. How? All the information can be stored in several physical locations.
It is important to not only store company vital records (i.e. the files that help a company survive in case of a calamity but think of just your customer contracts and insurance documents) on internal servers.
Likewise, avoiding the loss of documents that could lead to legal problems is one of the risks that must be considered for the implementation of this solution.
Clever! You already know what digital archiving is and the advantages of using it.
If you want to implement the best digital practices to modernize your company, we invite you to request a call with our expert for digital archiving services.