No matter what kind of business is being discussed, the costs of dealing with paper documentation can be very high. Some of these costs are not readily apparent, though they become obvious once they are explained. One of the greatest strengths of digital technology is that it allows – essentially – infinite copies of any document to be made for no cost. In fact, the only cost involved is the cost required to store it on some sort of digital media. This has big implications for businesses of all types.
Any business that is required to keep detailed records will have some sort of an archiving scheme in place. One of the problems with archiving paper documents is that they end up not really serving any purpose, in most cases, but they still consume a tremendous amount of resources. For example, if you have a financial business that has to keep records going very far back into the past but they are seldom, if ever, accessed, you'll need to pay for some sort of secure storage facility to house those documents.
Digital documents can be archived on network drives at the business's location or even stored on online backup drives. Essentially, no matter how many archived documents you have, you only need the space consumed by digital media to store all of them.
Copying Paper Documents
At one time, to send multiple people the same pack of documents or to send one person copies of several different documents, a person had to physically go up to a copy machine and make those copies, mail or fax them and, if they were faxed, deal with the wasted paper. Today, the situation is much different. A digital document can be attached to any number of e-mails and sent to any number of recipients without consuming additional resources. This makes the logistics of running a business much easier.
Document management software is what enables businesses to get the greatest advantage out of digital documentation. Management software allows documents to be tagged with keywords that make them easy to search through, it makes it possible to search through individual documents for particular words or phrases and ensures that sensitive data can be encrypted. Digital documentation, though it may seem more complex on the surface than paper documentation, is actually much simpler in terms of how it is used, how it is managed and how it is stored, making it a sensible choice for businesses of all sizes.