Why Digital Document Storage Exists
Digital document storage (DDS) is an emergent, organizational technology designed to help organizations track, store, version, manage, and transfer documents on a digitized basis—its most alluring draw being an efficient, cost-effective way for organizations to become paperless.
DDS’s origin is closely tied to internet access via mobile phones. The internet became more accessible and functional than ever once it was given the mobile phone medium, drawing consumers to organizations’ websites and other digital services in droves.
Consequently, organizations saw a rise in demand for impeccable service outside the confines of typical operating hours, therein forcing organizations on a global level to answer the question of how internal processes can be streamlined to increase efficiency and better meet consumer demands—inside the office and out.
Among the myriad of answers to this question emerged digital document storage: A powerful tool for streamlining internal organizational process, helping organizations allocate internal resources more digitally and therefore more efficiently.
Ultimately, organizations began exploring DDS’s functions, features, and benefits, and paper’s relevance in the future landscape of small to mid-sized organizations was rightfully brought into question.
No matter how much an organization relies upon it, paper is one of the greatest—if not the greatest—impediments to organizational efficiency. However, eliminating or significantly decreasing paper from organizational processes does not require the lengthy overhaul that many assume.
Even if a company’s existing information architecture is deeply rooted in paper-based storage and filing processes (including physical filing cabinets and folders), implementing and using digital document storage merely entails moving these processes to an enhanced, streamlined, and more sophisticated platform, allowing permitted users to scan, share, store, secure, manage, archive, collaborate on, and send sensitive information via secure, manageable, and accountability-based work platforms at any stage of a document’s lifecycle.
To those familiar with Enterprise Content Management (ECM), several crucial distinctions between DDS and ECM must be made: Roughly 25% of the features and benefits comprising ECM form the full definition of digital document storage. Therefore, ECM can be viewed as a bundle of software, practices, strategies, and technologies, whether native or externally sourced, that help organizations manage information, whereas DDS is oftentimes a single software comprised of native features—making DDS fall under the category of Software as a Service (SaaS) technology
Digital Document Storage Statistics for the Paperless Organizational Order
Despite DDS’s usability, cost efficiency, and other draws, 47% of paper-dependent organizations remain paper-dependent due to a lack of management initiatives. This implies that organizational leadership is either unaware of its employees’ needs or ignoring how those in the organizational trenches are most fit to assess the inefficiency of paper-dependent processes.
Additionally, 44% of paper-dependent organizations forego paperless solutions because their leadership claims to “need” physical signatures on paper for contracts—an alarming statistic given the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, which deemed electronic signatures legally binding over 15 years ago.
Furthermore, 43% of paper-dependent organizational leaders claim they prefer paper handling and reading, even though traditional document storage methods like physical folders and filing cabinets cost the average employee, whether a knowledge or process worker, 30% – 40% of his or her time, and therefore 30% – 40% of the salaries each of these employees earn.
This preference for paper handling and reading also leads to lost documents, each costing anywhere from $350 – $750; a bearable cost of business, it seems, until one learns the average organization loses a document every 12 seconds. The longer organizations wait to outgrow paper-dependent systems, the greater the costs incurred.
However, roughly 80% of organizations are taking steps to become less paper-dependent, if not paper-free. Therefore, if administrators and the organizations they oversee aren’t implementing or buying-in to paperless initiatives, especially considering the measurable benefits of paperless solutions like DDS, they are relegating their organizations to the bottom 20% of operational efficiency.