Security and The Document Retrieval Process
If you are filing 100,200, 500, or 1,000 pages a week in a document management system, then you are creating a decent amount of data over time. Often companies are concerned about storage space if the data is on their server, so the idea of having the data hosted by another company sounds nice. This is a fine strategy if the following procedures are in place.
- Security – What is the security of your documents when it is on the hosted system? Who can access it and how does the company hosting comply with security procedures? If you are a law firm or an accountant this will probably matter a lot more to you than if you are a concrete company.
- Accessibility – Who can access the files? Does it cost you more money to access your own files if more people want to view it. Isn’t it odd that you can get charged to look at your own files? We believe this should be open for everyone to look at, but if you are choosing a document management system, you should at least make sure this is as cheap as possible!
- When you are looking to archive, how does this work?
Retrieval of data is a big issue to companies. The format you save files in can matter legally. PDF’s are accepted as legal file types while other file types may not be! If you are storing files to protect yourself from litigation, does the file type work in court? This is an important concern! Who can access the files, how frequently can they access the files, this all matters!
So, how much space does a document take on a hard drive?
A typical scanned image is about 50kb or so… If you take an average 4 drawer filing cabinet with 1,500 pages per drawer will take approx 300MB of space. There are cheap TB drives out there today, so worrying about space for files should really be the least of your concerns!
Crucial Retrieval Issues For Consideration
If we were going to hierarchically rank storage factors in terms of importance, we would do so as follows:
- Security of documents (if you have any legal mandates requiring protection of data)
- File types document management system will store to
- Do you get charged if more people in your organization look at files?
- What happens to your files if the company you work with go out of business (over 85% do!)
- How intuitive is finding your files?
Retrieval of documents is extremely critical in the world of document management! If you don’t know where your documents go or how to find them, you have a big issue with your system. The more simple and intuite the retrieval, the better! Too many people settle for systems that take six months to learn how to use. You have a business to run, insist your document management system makes your business run smoother, don’t drop your business to make sure the document management system runs smoothly.