One of the questions our Archives Division frequently encounters is, “Why should I store my records off-site? What’s the benefit?” Today, we would like to answer with 5 reasons you should store your records off-site, at a dedicated records center.
When your records (sensitive files, media files, backup tapes) are stored on-site everybody knows where they are, and their importance. When they are stored in a records center, they are simply a box in storage. Records center employees don’t know what’s in the boxes, and there is no temptation to rummage through the contents.
Managed Retention Process.
Who in your office manages the retention process? More specifically, who is in charge of making sure documents are being destroyed when they should be? This is an important process for any business to follow for legal reasons. When your records are placed in a records center you only have to set the retention schedule and the rest is taken care of.
It may seem convenient to have your records on-site; you only have to walk down the hallway and all of your records are there. Is your office designed for file storage? Do you have barcode scanning so you know exactly where the files are? Record centers are designed to know exactly where your box is. In many cases, simply visit a secure webpage and request a particular box or file to be delivered the next day (or even the same day). Or a particular file or pages within a file can be scanned and available on-line within minutes of the request.
Off-site storage is a permanent solution.
On-site storage is a temporary solution to a permanent situation. If you’re storing your records on-site, where do you plan to store your records once you’ve filled up your designated room? Record centers offer virtually unlimited space for your records, so you don’t have to be concerned about where the next box is going.
More effective use of office space.
Office space is expensive and most offices have very limited common area file storage capacity. Overflow of files often find their way into individual cubicles or offices cluttering up the space looking unprofessional and unorganized. Reclaim your office space for your office. Record centers are designed to store large numbers of records; your office simply is not.
Here at JK we understand the allure of storing your records on-site; it’s convenient, you know exactly who has access, and you have the space (for the moment). That being said, we believe the benefits of storing your records off-site outweigh any perceived benefits to storing records on-site. Record centers are designed to store your records while protecting them from possible theft, security breach, fire, water, and pest damage.
What’s been your experience with storing your records on-site versus off-site? Please share in the comments below.
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