Your most important documents are probably in paper form. You’ve probably secured the document in a locked draw or locker accessible only by your key. It might even be sealed and stamped as “high risk” for sharing purposes. Most businesses still think that important documents should be handled like this, especially if they are contracts or signed purchase orders. But, are you actually protecting your documents and your business?
The risks are big and real, which is why technology has developed better ways to protect, sign, and encrypt sensitive material. We’ve examined all the risks paper documents pose to your business and what the digital alternative can solve. Here’s what you need to know…
The most obvious and yet significant risk is that of an accidental emergency situation, like a fire or a natural disaster. Technology provides backups and internet access from any device, unlike important paper copies that could be easily physically destroyed or damaged. It’s always better to have a digital copy of your most important documents. And if they need to be signed, sealed and saved, then eSignatures provide long-term, emergency-proof security.
Theft and loss
What happens if documents are stolen, either from a break-in or an employee? There’s few ways to trace a piece of paper, but there are many ways to trace a digital document that’s been signed and audited online. Locking up your documents with keys and access passes actually puts documents at a far greater risk of being stolen and manipulated than a digital file. Without the ability to track a file, how can it fully be protected?
Sharing carbon documents brings some considerable risk to the way the information is used. Paper documents are far more easily passed around to those not intended. Carbon contracts can be left out unattended for other colleagues and passersby to see. It’s hard to manage the way carbon copies are shared because they are infinitely copyable with no trail.
The last and not least considerable risk is the ecological damage paper documents cause to the environment and the sustainability of our working futures. Given the safety benefits of going paperless and embracing digital documents and eSignatures for contracts and purchase orders, why not also protect the planet for your employees, your business, and the greater world? Every sheet of paper contributes to the cutting of another tree and unnecessary industrial manufacturing of material.