- November 3, 2020
- Wim Temmerman, Vice President Sales EMEA
Information handling in companies is becoming more and more important as day-to-day business increases. Having information available in the right place at the right time can become a competitive factor, but also a cost factor.
Today the proportion of business-relevant information in electronic format is increasing every year for businesses of all sizes. They’re created in information systems, processed throughout the organization and stored at least until the end of the legally prescribed retention period. In short, digitization is finding its way into all the information management processes and systems of companies and organizations great and small.
Legal and regulatory requirements affect SMBs and large companies alike
Compliance regulates proper storage and management of business books and correspondence. The prerequisite is the fulfillment of requirements for the integrity (immutability) and authenticity (authenticity) of business files.
Business records are those incoming and outgoing external and internal documents that obligate your company or give it a right and whose content affects your balance sheet. This concerns every communication in text form, regardless of the medium on which it was recorded. This can also be a confirmation by email in which an adjustment of an offer is accepted. Emails like this must be kept on paper or in digital form in accordance with the statutory retention periods that affect your business.
It goes without saying that it’s not very efficient to print these digital emails, store them in folders and keep them in physical archive. That’s why the legal option of only storing these electronic business documents electronically is a positive development, but also a challenge, since your organization must meet the technical requirements.
Opportunities for SMBs
The proportion of purely digitally managed documents continues to increase significantly and therefore the need for security when handling digital files also continues to increase for business of all sizes. The entire communication is shifting more and more from paper to digital correspondence, especially with SMBs. Emails, e-bills, e-receipts are just a few examples.
Digital archiving means building an audit-proof system that enables your organization to store thousands of digital documents over decades. An appropriate archive stores your data in a secure, tamper-proof format that ensures compliance with federal, state and industry-specific legislation. Archiving tools are designed for easy search and recovery of information in such a way that these documents are always available in a timely, authentic, unchanged and legible manner. That makes them perfect eDiscovery solutions for SMBs.
Intelligent document formats such as the ISO standard for PDF/A for digital long-term archiving can help you achieve revision security.
When designing long-term archiving solutions, it is therefore important to take into account the fact that the systems used quickly become “out of date” due to rapid technological progress and must be replaced at an early stage. The contents of the archived documents, on the other hand, remain relevant and must therefore be able to be migrated to the new systems in full and unchanged.
A stable document format that outlasts the life cycle of the systems paves the way for lossless migration. The integral support of the future-oriented PDF/A ISO format is the indispensable prerequisite for the marketability of all software and hardware solutions in the area of document management.