Keeping your valuables safe extends to a whole new level in this day and age. The cloud is simple in concept – it’s a storage space on the web where you can keep items that you would normally keep in a cabinet. But going paperless is not as easy as it might sound.
Morgan O’Mara, Digital Marketing Content Coordinator from Record Nations, recommends using a cloud storage, but going paperless (for your personal information or home-office/business) involves a few different steps to help you stay organized and make the transition as quick and painless as possible.
Have a Plan
If you have a lot of documents or data to store, you can start by separating them by type and maybe even date or year. Once you’ve done this, create a document (like an excel file) to note what you’ve converted to digital and what still needs to be converted. This is just to help you keep track.
“Before transferring documents to a web storage solution, documents should be properly managed and have guidelines on how to handle the documents. By having a clear record management plan, companies are more likely to have secure documents in web storage and in regular storage,” says O’Mara.
Choose a System
Choosing a system is imperative when moving to cloud storage. You’ll need to decide whether you’d like to use a dedicated server that’s located in your office, or a cloud service, which can be accessed from anywhere (with an internet connection) and is free.
O’Mara says that the industry standard is moving away from dedicated servers and towards cloud-based services. This transition has given cloud service providers the ability to present several different options that change the functionality and access for their customers.
You can choose from three main options: public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
Here are the main differences.
- Public cloud- This is a free or pay-as-you-go service that provides storage like email etc. Examples of this are Gmail, Google Drive or Dropbox to name a few. Your information is pretty safe here as these services have multiple data centers and servers to make sure you’re covered in case of an emergency.
- Private cloud- This is a very similar service as public except that these are controlled and accessed by an individual organization within their firewalls. It gives an organization more control of what happens with their data, how they control it and it offers increased security measures.
- Hybrid cloud– This is a solution that combines the two we just talked about. It gives you the flexibility to utilize both types of services depending on the level of security and types of services that you may need. Maybe your personal documents are okay being stored in a public cloud but you’re a little more concerned about your business’ information. This option would allow you to use both.
Trust the System and Be Patient
Converting to paperless can be overwhelming for the most flexible of people. If you have a lot of documents and data to convert, take your time and remember to always keep back-ups.
“When selecting a web storage service it’s important to consider security, capacity, pricing and reliability. I would recommend putting this list in order of importance, based on the users needs. After figuring out what is most important to the user, they should research which service can provide them the best,” says O’Mara.
Although it requires organization and time, getting a head start on this now will all pay off in the end.