Warning……..Are your documents and data safe?
The breaking news story in Phoenix this week had to do with a Tempe based
AllState Insurance agent who dumped old files containing personal information
into a dumpster putting hundreds of people at risk for identity theft.
And if you think about it, this is certainly not the first story of this
kind to hit the news.
Managing paper records is a
monumental task and in some cases, the law requires maintaining the records
for up to seven years. This forces some companies to maintain “file
rooms” for no other purpose than to store paper records.
It is surprising how many folks
believe that storing records in physical space is simply a “necessary
evil” they must contend with in order to maintain their legal compliance.
The fact of the matter is,
any company that maintains paper records is putting their clients and
their company at risk. Not to mention, the undo time, money and effort
it takes to maintain, retrieve and dispose of those records. Recent studies
conducted by IBM and Xerox indicate that as much as 12% of the average
American company’s bottom line is the direct result of document
management. For an insurance agent with 3-5 employees, that could more
than $15,000 a year just in document management.
Like all things relating to
technology, what begins as extremely expensive, eventually is priced for
the average consumer. Digital document management has been priced for
the small to mid-sized company for a couple of years. This technology
is absolutely ideal for independent insurance agents, realtors, medical
offices and title and mortgage companies. In recent months, a growing
interest among law offices has also emerged.
The current software offered
through such notable companies as DocSTAR, FileBound and other imaging
vendors contain the necessary elements to comply with the Electronic Signatures
Act. DocSTAR for example, has a document authentication system that is
so powerful it affixes an electronic finger print to every document to
assure it’s the original. These systems also prohibit access to
the data by unauthorized individuals. In fact, these products are so bullet
proof Microsoft and the US Postal Service now use them nationally. In
addition, digital records are stored in three separate locations to assure
information protection even in the event of catastrophic disasters such
as Hurricane Katrina or even a building fire.
The transition to a digital/paperless
office often takes hours not weeks to complete and is the equivalent of
having a cell phone . . .”how did we ever live without it”.
Going paperless is now mainstream and is your best way to protect corporate
assets and individual data. What was once difficult and expensive is now
available to companies of all sizes. These new technologies are easy to
implement and learn and are affordable for almost all businesses.
As a business owner or manager
who has responsibility for maintaining personal information, it is time
to become educated on the various document management solutions that are
available and make a conscious decision to offer your customers the safest
systems to protect their information.
Express Digital Solutions,
is dedicated to educating small and mid-sized business owners about document
management solutions that suit their business, save time and money and
offer a level of security they were previously not able to provide to
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