We all know that document storage is important and yet it is still one of the most neglected business practices. In fact, almost half of all companies surveyed do not have a full plan in place for recovery from a disaster, and only 17% use electronic document storage – one of the cheapest, easiest and simplest ways to ensure the integrity of a paper trail! Of the businesses surveyed a massive 82% stated that they knew that some form of document storage was ‘critical’ or ‘very important in order to retain business records.
Almost half of the companies surveyed admitted that loss of business information would be fatal to their operations, or would, at the least, set them back severely by at least 12 months. Many companies, said Janette Martin, Managing Director of V1 (a business automation software provider), seemed to think of disaster recovery plans as luxuries, and fail to realise quite how reliant upon physical paper documents many companies still are.
In the event of a disaster, being able to access documentation, such as timesheets, diaries, paper trails and the entire cycle from purchase of raw materials to sale of finished goods, is absolutely essential for the business to pick up the threads and continue working without shaking the confidence of either customers or suppliers.
The IDC calculates that document and information losses cost small to medium scale companies upwards of £170,000 per disaster in downtime and recovery. V1s research shows that businesses still have not responded despite salutary warnings in the forms of events like the underground fire at Holborn, and the depredations of the severe 2012-13 winter weather. Some 60% added that their recovery plans had not changed at all. Only 28% – just over one quarter – said that their continuity plans had been dramatically revamped or otherwise improved, while 12% were simply not sure – itself an indicator of the issues faced by businesses who do not understand the value of having a recovery plan and off-site data back-ups to use to ensure the seamless operation of the business.
However, the news is not all worrisome: only 2% felt that document recovery was not at all important, while 33% and 49% believed that document safeguarding is a highly important factor in any business, despite the low figure of those who actually have plans in place to date.