From the creation of the first computer in the 1940s to the introduction of the World Wide Web in 1989, businesses have undergone a remarkable digital transformation. Driven by the pursuit of efficiency, improved accessibility, and ever-evolving technology, business landscapes have been reshaped by document digitisation.

This paperless revolution is unmistakable, however many organisations are required to keep paper records for various reasons, including compliance and security requirements. This requirement has given rise to the concept of Paperlite. The term Paperlite is becoming increasingly prevalent in records management, and at DeepStore, we recognise the significance of paper records for businesses. In this blog, we explore why paper records are still prominently used by organisations and why your organisation should take a paperlite approach.

Why paper records stand the test of time

While organisations are reducing their use of paper, many believe a paperless office is unrealistic. Paper records are standing the test of time in the face of the digital age, and there are several reasons why…

Consistency

Despite the digital revolution, many organisations have processes and procedures in place that require a physical paper trail. These processes extend to many aspects of the business and are especially prominent in areas supporting financial and legal matters. Digitising these processes can be complex, intricate and costly, making paper records an invaluable part of maintaining consistency.

Permanence

Technology is constantly evolving, however, this is making it difficult to retrieve old digital records. Digital formats like floppy disks and CDs are gradually becoming inaccessible, while paper records remain inherently durable and resistant to obsolescence. Their physical nature ensures the continued accessibility of vital information regardless of technological advancements.

Legal Requirements

Some documents are required in physical form by law – their use and storage being crucial for regulatory compliance. Additionally, there is still a requirement for physical signatures, notarisation and retention on certain documents to ensure their validity. These documents can include contracts, affidavits, deeds, case files and medical records.

Authenticity Assurance

Paper documents provide a tangible source of information and are often seen as more trustworthy than digital documents. This is particularly relevant for key documents such as historical records, contracts, and original invoices, which carry a sense of authenticity when stored in physical form.

Security

While paper documents can sometimes face challenges like theft and accidental loss, they provide reassurance against cyber threats, which are on the rise. With 46% of businesses experiencing recent cyber attacks, the secure nature of paper becomes a crucial asset. Additionally, connection issues and power problems put unsaved data at risk, potentially leaving a paperless office unable to work.

Heritage document preservation

A final reason for continuing the use of paper records relates to heritage preservation. Some documents will always be kept on paper, even if they are also digitised. These documents are typically of national interest, aligning with the concept of continuity and cultural heritage for future generations.

A Paperlite Approach

Whether organisations are continuing to use physical documents for legal or security reasons, it’s clear that paper records are here to stay. In light of this, it is recommended that organisations embrace a paperlite approach rather than opting to enforce a paperless office.

Implementing a paperlite approach helps organisations reduce paper consumption in their day-to-day operations, resulting in reduced waste, increased office space, and efficiencies when retrieving records. A paperlite organisation can be achieved by implementing several strategies. These include the digitisation of records, introducing a document management system and storing documents off-site with a trusted records management partner.

There are multiple benefits of choosing a paperlite approach, including:

  • Reduced costs – A reduction in the amount of paper used lowers expenses on paper, ink, printers, and storage. This makes more space for essential equipment that will support daily operations.
  • Improved accessibility and productivity – While some paper records will be kept in the office, combining these with digitised documents will allow quick access to information. This enables employees to focus on more important tasks, reducing search time and errors, and increasing productivity.
  • Sustainability – Lower demand for paper production minimises the environmental impact of an organisation, aligning with eco-friendly and sustainable working practices.
  • Security – Storing documents off-site ensures the security of records that are not in use. At DeepStore, our unique underground facility is naturally free from ultraviolet light, vermin and flooding, ensuring your records are protected at all times.

Leading document management solutions

DeepStore recognises the continued importance of paper records across all businesses, and ensuring the security of your documents is of the utmost importance to us. We’re proud to offer industry-leading records management services, ensuring safe and confidential handling of your documents in a secure environment. Our services are available to support organisations across a multitude of sectors, including finance, legal, pharmaceutical, the public sector, and heritage.

With two industry-leading storage facilities located in Winsford and London, our secure records management solution encompasses a comprehensive range of services to support your paperlite approach…

  • Secure Storage At DeepStore, we provide an unrivalled records management service. Our unique facilities offer secure and unlimited storage potential, the perfect alternative to above ground storage solutions. Our vault storage solutions ensure the security of records at a cost-effective price, combining sustainability, compliance, and technology.
  • Digital ServicesEncompassing a wide variety of items, our digital services include back file scanning, scan on demand and DeepStore Online. Providing secure access to your stored and digitised records allows you to benefit from improved records management, operational efficiency, and streamlined processes.
  • Secure Document Destruction To ensure your sensitive records are safely destroyed we employ comprehensive security protocols and provide a certification of destruction upon completion. You can track the destruction through DeepStore Online, ensuring compliance is consistently maintained.
  • Project ManagementWe have a team of qualified project managers who hold the PRINCE2 certification and will oversee the entire transition of your records and archives from any existing storage to our facilities.

Get in touch

If you would like to learn more about DeepStore, our one-of-a-kind facilities, or how we can help your business take a paperlite approach, get in touch today. Simply fill out our online enquiry form or call 0345 056 5759, and a member of our friendly team will be in touch.