When it comes to making the switch to digital office practices like electronic document storage, companies should take a full accounting of the financial obligations and benefits of such a change.
While circumstances are different for all organizations, the vast majority of businesses can realize significant cost savings from making the switch to a paperless office. There’s one component of paper storage that falls outside of many people’s reckoning when they consider the overall price of using and storing hard copies: filing cabinets. While this may not initially seem like a significant part of storage costs at first, filing cabinets can be a major expense depending on how much storage is required by a business.
Small, two-drawer filing cabinets start around $50, even when found through a discount-heavy retailer like Amazon. At the same size, more secure and well-built versions can run more than $100. And that cost only covers the storage of a fraction of the needs of most businesses. Large, multi-tiered filing cabinets also have significantly higher cost and that can reach above $1,000. And while some might view these items as a fixed, one-time cost, growing businesses often have a steadily increasing demand for storage.
Digital documents allow a higher level of protection than file cabinets as well. Natural disasters and even less-widespread events like fires can cause important documents to be destroyed, while properly archived electronic files are functionally immune from being totally wiped out. Additionally, finding a specific document becomes much easier when they can all be searched through a few quick keystrokes. Macworld points out that, through the use of optical character recognition technology, the location of files stored on a computer is much easier than locating the same document inside a filing cabinet.