If you store paperwork containing sensitive, personal, and valuable information about your customers, patients, or employees, ensuring long-lasting data retrieval and protection for your files is crucial to stay safe and legal.
Document retention on site brings serious challenges regarding both space management and organisation, problems that become more intractable as your document volume grows. Unfortunately, you can’t always simply shred unused documents. Many business documents, employment records, and patient files must by law be retained for long retention periods, placing the onus on you to find an appropriate storage solution.
The resulting paper box stacks and filing cabinets take up valuable floor space, present security risks (e.g. leaks, lost data, snooping), and are often tricky to keep organised and accessible long-term without constant supervision and care. Timed disposal schedules require careful administrative planning, too.
Enter the simple solution - offsite document storage.
What Is Offsite Document Storage?
Outsourcing your document storage to a third-party offsite provider, such as CAS ltd, allows overstretched organisations to transfer their old physical records to a clean, modern, and secure facility with climate controls and dedicated security in place.
Your provider will take over the curation, timed destruction, and remote retrieval of your archived documents for you. Many businesses also offer managed digitisation of your archives if you want to move away from paper altogether, or scan on demand if you need to combine easy access with retention of paper master copies. You're also free to request your records back at any point.
Here are four key points to discuss with your shortlisted storage suppliers to find the best option for you.
1) What Unique Benefits Can They Offer?
Not all storage facilities run on the same model. Some simply offer storage space for paper archives, but this is rare – most businesses are more diverse in their services now. Many specialise in different strands of what remote storage can provide, such as paper archives, or digitisation, or may offer specialised storage for a specific sector (legal, healthcare etc). Other suppliers, including ourselves, offer a balanced portfolio of services, with different solutions available for a range of storage and access requirements.
2) How Will Offsite Storage Save You Money?
Remote storage reduces archival costs by freeing up valuable in-house floor space, eliminating the risk of data breaches, and streamlining admin, sorting, and preservation cycles.
3) How Do You Store And Process Your Documents?
Knowing where, how, and to what level of security your documents are stored will help you determine whether your supplier is the right choice. If you're looking to digitise documents, it's also essential to know how (or if) your supplier offers scanning services.
4) How Secure Are Their Premises?
’Secure document storage’ entails making it quick and easy for authorised people to request and access documents and making the same impossible for unauthorised persons! Achieving this feat requires a range of physical and digital access controls – from CCTV-monitored premises to multiple point encryption for files stored on cloud servers. Every supplier should be able to clearly demonstrate how they prevent unauthorised access, snooping, and theft – and also the precautions they take against non-human hazards, including mice, damp, flooding, and fire. Security stations, rolling CCTV, double-fencing, alarms, and a maintained site perimeter help prevent breaches, and environmental controls keep your documents in secure condition within their containers.
Quality suppliers should also show a long-term security track record free of data breaches, break-ins, and leaks. Search the internet for news stories - by law, serious data security breaches must be publicised.
Document Storage Solutions From CAS Ltd.
Clarks Archival Services (CAS) Ltd provide secure document storage, digitisation, and disposal services to customers throughout the UK. Please get in touch today to find out more or to request a quote.
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