Digital Document Archiving Vs Physical Archives: Which is better?

Digital Document Archiving Vs Physical Archives: Which is better?

Posted on January 18, 2014

Document archiving, either physical or digital is a popular trend in the business world. Initially, it was only libraries who kept archives, but today commercial businesses, government agencies, universities, non-profit organizations and religious organizations all maintain archives of their documents.

Usually the type of documents contained in an archive depends on the type of organization maintaining them. While government agencies keep archives of their history, universities maintain archives of their research and businesses keep archives of their financial transactions.  Companies who are a part of the legal, medical or financial sector have to maintain archives of extensive records.

What are physical archives?

Physical archives usually refer to the process of archiving paper documents. However, archiving important information like forms, medical records, legal documents, customer files or conference papers in paper may not be a good idea. Paper cannot be stored over a long period and things like moisture, mildew, mould or improper handling can all ruin your important data.

There is no sure guarantee that paper can even survive for a short time period. Because of the short life of paper, microforms (microfilm and microfiche) were invented in the eighties. Microforms are more durable than paper, but because of their small size, they can be easily damaged. Another disadvantage of using microforms is that they require bulky equipment to view the information.

What is digital archiving?

With the invention of scanner, digital document archiving came into being. Scanners are used to capture a digital image of a document, which can then be easily stored on a server or hard drive. The biggest advantage of digitally archiving documents is that your data cannot be tampered with. You can also save on space, as you will only be using up virtual space. By opting for digital archiving, you can eliminate the need of maintaining bulky physical records.

When a document is scanned, you have the option of saving it in varied image formats, such as PDF, JPEG, TIFF or BMP. Through the use of optical character recognition, a scanned PDF document can be made text searchable. This will make it very simple for you to retrieve specific information at any given time. Storage and transmission is also easy, as PDF documents can be compressed to a very small size.

By digitally archiving your payroll records, proof of deliveries, HR records or lab books, you will never need to worry about losing your information.

4 great reasons to go digital with your data

If document archiving is not one of your core competencies, you need not worry. You can simply outsource document archiving to a service provider. Outsourcing is not only cost-effective, but can also help you save on time and effort, which can be invested into your core business ventures. Here are four benefits that you can leverage by outsourcing document archiving:

  • Get access to fast and accurate document archiving services at an affordable cost
  • Save on making investments in digital archiving technology or infrastructure
  • Focus on your core business, while staying assured that experts are archiving your data
  • Archive your information in any format of your choice

What do you think is the biggest advantage of converting your physical archives into digital archives? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below. We, at Flatworld Solutions love to hear from you!

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