Comparing Document Management Options: Cost, Security, and Efficiency

Posted by Bob Loblaw on Tue, Sep 10, 2019

Proper document management can make a business more efficient and more secure while cutting costs. Depending on the needs of your business and whether you use digital or physical documents, solutions can vary.

Although the primary focus of a company revolves around the day-to-day work of your business, creating and adhering to an established document management system is also an integral and ever-evolving part of any productive organization.

A well-maintained document management process helps businesses remain compliant with record-keeping regulations, avoid security risks, and streamline the overall workflow and productivity of the company.

Paper vs Paperless

As you turn to evaluating your own office or organization’s document management policies, the questions to ask yourself now become, what are the greatest weaknesses in your system, and what steps can you take to better improve your overall document management practices?

The video below will explain about the different options and benefits of document management solutions and systems. Click to watch and learn more.

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Lay Out Your Priorities

Developing a Document Management System and deciding whether to go paperless or hard-copy revolves around striking a balance between cost, security, and productivity.

There isn’t a single right answer for a perfect balance—instead you have to lay out your own priorities and requirements for records management in order to find the best system to suit your needs.

Top Document Management Needs to Consider

Document and Filing Management

While comparing records management needs and options there are multiple cost, security, and efficiency factors to keep in mind such as:

  • Record accessibility
  • Time management
  • Space requirements
  • Natural disaster protections
  • Record retention periods
  • Supply and resource costs
  • Data breaches and theft
  • Data backups
  • Document destruction

Paperless vs Offsite Cost Considerations

When it comes to cost factors some of the primary ones to keep in mind include space requirements, resource costs, and time.

When Paperless Management Is Cheapest


For records that are used regularly, cloud storage and DMS systems use keyword-search tools for users to easily find records. Files can also be sent and received digitally to help simplify distribution.

Save Time

Time is money, and with the one-time cost of 7-12 cents to scan records, it saves the indefinite amount of time you would be paying for employees to search for files.

Supplies Costs

Large record archives require a lot of office supplies to manage them. Rather than buying filing cabinets, paper, and other resources, a single hard drive can store thousands of digital files for far less.

When Off Site Storage Saves Money

Save Scanning Money

For records that require legal retention but are rarely used there is little ROI for making a digital copy. Instead of scanning page-by-page, off site stores by the box (which holds 2,000-2,500 sheets) for just 50-95 cents.

Free Up Office Space with Off-Site StorageSave Space

Removing paper records and filing cabinets to store them from the office opens new opportunities to use the space more productively—like hiring revenue-generating employees for example.

Supplies Costs

Like paperless management, using offsite storage helps to cut back on a number of costs for everyday supplies like filing cabinets which can be especially expensive with costs ranging as high as $1,000 or more.

Paperless vs Offsite Security Factors

In terms of security considerations, some of the main ones to keep in mind include natural disasters, external data breaches, and internal theft.

How Paperless Keeps Records Secure

Access Controls

Tiered access controls can be set up in DMS and cloud storage systems, helping to prevent internal theft and limit access to sensitive information for only those who need it.


Electronic document management systems use encryption to limit system access—helping to protect records from external theft and data breaches.

Data Backups

When devices are always connected to the system the files they contain can be regularly backed up and stored safely at an off site location—helping to limit natural disaster impact.

How Off Site Storage Benefits Security

Benefits of SecurityPhysical Protection

Offsite facilities are equipped with 24/7 video surveillance as well as guarded premises—helping to prevent theft at the facility.

Natural Disaster

To protect records from environmental damage, off site facilities use fire-suppressant and climate-control systems in storage areas.

Lower Theft Risk

Off site storage helps to keep sensitive information out of the office, in turn helping to keep it out of the hands of potential thieves and negligent employees.

Paperless vs. Off Site Efficiency Factors

When it comes to maximizing productivity there are several things to keep in mind like using space efficiently or the time it takes to find and refile records.

How Paperless Boosts Productivity

Keyword Search FunctionalityKeyword Search

“Less time searching, more time working.” With cloud and DMS systems files can be tracked down via search, as a result removing a major time bottleneck with hard-copies.

Fast Access

One of the greatest benefits of digital records is how quickly they can be sent, received, and copied. Instead of printing a new copy to share all it takes is a right-click.

Retention Tracking

Paperless systems often can be configured to track record retention periods, helping to simplify a tedious process that carries potential legal liabilities.

How Off Site Storage Benefits Efficiency

Organized Storage

When records are stored at off site facilities an index is maintained to organize and track record locations—helping to both speed up access and simplify retention tracking.

Facility Shredding

Besides storage, most off site storage facilities are able to handle shredding once records reach the end of their life-cycle, effectively removing a step from the records management process.

Clear Office Clutter

Storing rarely-used records off site and out of the office opens up extra space that can be used for more productive purposes like additional room to work or the opportunity to hire new employees.

Click to Find Out More

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How does your company manage your documents and files? Do you have a system in place? Do you still use hard copies? We love hearing different types of strategies that work for you!


Topics: Document Management Solutions, Document Management Software, Paperless Office, Paperless Filing, Green Initiative, Waste Reduction, Document Scanning Solutions, Ransomware, Business Tips and Solutions