Pros and Cons of Offsite Document Storage

Your documents and records are important to your organization, providing access to the information you need to help your clients. But your most important paper records are also your most vulnerable. As a result, you need a safe way to store your documents to work with peace of mind.

Many companies turn to offsite records storage as a solution for document security, entrusting their files to professional archivists. When you store your documents in an offsite storage facility, like with ScansAmerica, you can optimize your workflow and conduct your business without worrying about the safety, security or physical location of your records.

Offsite document storage comes with advantages and disadvantages. The best storage option for your company will depend on your unique preferences and needs. Here are a few pros and cons you might want to consider as you weigh your options.

Pros of Offsite Storage

Storing important records in an offsite storage facility can help you remove clutter from your offices while ensuring the continued safety of your paperwork, whether you have a little of it or a lot. Here are just a few of the benefits of offsite records storage:

  1. Increased security: When you move your records to an offsite storage facility, you help protect them from theft and misuse. Though data breaches may be rare, they can cause real damage to businesses and their clients. In offsite storage, your files will benefit from security measures such as camera surveillance, so only authorized personnel will be able to access your information.
  2. Protection from the elements: In a climate-controlled warehouse, paper documents are protected from the elements — they won't degrade from humidity or succumb to mold. Even better, your most important files will remain safe in the event of an office disaster like a fire or flood, so your business can recover more quickly.
  3. Speedy retrieval: Though picking up a document from storage may not be as quick as walking down the hall, offsite storage makes finding documents easier. Modern barcode management systems keep documents organized and ready for you to access. At ScansAmerica, we keep stored files accessible around the clock, so you can retrieve them at your convenience.
  4. More office space: Storing the majority of your physical records offsite frees up valuable office space. You can use rooms that used to be taken up by files for something more productive. If you work in an area where renting an office costs a fortune, reclaiming this space could significantly reduce your costs.

Cons of Offsite Storage

Offsite storage makes a great option for many businesses, but for some organizations, the pros may not outweigh the cons. There are a few disadvantages of offsite document storage that you should keep in mind, including:

  1. Lack of instant access: Unlike with digital files and onsite storage, an offsite storage facility may not be able to provide instant access for all of your employees. If your staff will need to reference the same files often, waiting to borrow them can feel like a huge drag. Keep onsite copies of documents you know you'll need often.
  2. Distance from the office: A distantly located storage facility can help protect your documents from local natural disasters. However, storing documents too far away may have downsides. If you or your staff need to pick up files, driving to get them could cost you time and money. For this reason, it's best to pick a storage facility that's reasonably close to your office location.
  3. Compliance issues: Not all storage facilities are alike. Some may not provide the security or storage conditions necessary to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. However, other storage facilities work hard to meet legal requirements. ScansAmerica delivers full compliance with retention times and other regulations specific to your industry. If you do choose offsite storage, select a provider carefully to ensure compliance.
  4. Fire danger: Offsite storage facilities are typically very safe. However, there remains a small chance of fire danger, even as companies actively work to prevent it. If the air becomes too dry, a spark could endanger an entire warehouse. Businesses can protect important documents by keeping second copies elsewhere, just in case.

Choosing Offsite Document Storage

The decision to switch to offsite storage is ultimately up to you. For some workplaces, offsite storage could boost efficiency and offer increased security for important documents. For others, onsite storage could work just as well. As you consider your options, the safety of your records should be your top priority.

At ScansAmerica, we understand how important your files are to your business — so we want to help you make a storage decision that works for you. Let us help with a free quote today.