With the invention of digital storage, the ability to place untold amounts of information in a hard drive, a cloud, or even flash drives the size of your fingernail have made paper all but irrelevant. You’ve likely heard the many arguments, concerns, and benefits about this digital switch, and the debates rage on, but one fact is clear: digital is better. Not only does it save on space, but it’s faster and most cost-effective. This has motivated businesses of every kind and size to make the switch to digital, abandoning their paper. With this, filing cabinets have become obsolete.
Or have they?
We still live in the physical world, though in a digital culture, and there are many serious advantages to keeping your filing cabinets. Here are five reasons why businesses need to consider hanging on to their filing cabinets — or perhaps even buy more:
- Not All Businesses Have Made the Digital Switch.
While an unprecedented number of businesses are making the switch to digital, there are still many businesses that are not. This can be for a variety of reasons. Some older businesses are very invested in their paper documents, making it costly to shred or recycle all the paper their bottom line has funded throughout the decades. More modern businesses may not have the budget to purchase the necessary scanners and equipment. So, while you may be going with the times, business-to-business dealings still require you to accommodate your associates’ situation. If your affiliate only sends invoices and other valuable information in paper form, you can’t exactly refuse, can you? You’ll need somewhere to store this information, and a filing cabinet offers the solution.
- They’re Great for Other Types of Storage.
Filing cabinets are typically used for, well, files, but they also serve the purpose of being compact, stylish, and uniform storage containers for a variety of things. As interesting as it would be, science hasn’t found a way to digitize a stapler, restricting you to the physical, space-consuming original. Office supplies such as staplers, pens, or coffee mugs can all be stashed away into the cabinet to keep your office looking tidy, organized, and running efficiently. Studies have shown that having an organized office not only improves efficiency by eliminating the need to hunt down objects, but also boosts morale, as employees feel more comfortable with the cleanliness. So perhaps you have already moved to digital, but there’s no need to sell the cabinet, as it can store other important objects.
- It’s Always Good to Have a Backup Plan.
Accidents do happen and acts of cyber terrorism happen even more regularly. Whether it’s the clumsy intern who dumps his coffee on the server or a Mission Impossible villain twirling his mustache as he deletes all your information, the result is the same – your data is lost. Digital storage is more compact — able to hold thousands if not millions of files in a small drive — but this is also a disadvantage. In paper format destroying millions of documents would take a building-wide fire and a great deal of time; in digital, it takes a few-second virus, a small moment of corruption, or a very-very-fired intern to bring it all down.
Having crucial information in paper format offers a backup plan to these situations, and a proper filing cabinet can protect your information when your other copies fail. A fireproof cabinet can withstand a natural disaster and is impervious to hackers. While you’re scrambling to recover your lost digital data, what does your business absolutely need to function? You can avoid going belly-up by having a physical backup of all your essentials, and filing cabinets will keep this all safe.
- It’s Secure.
In the same way a computer hacker can damage your vital information by getting their hands on it, in this digital age, it has become more and more common for genius-level tech terrorists to steal vital information – whether it be for profit, “social justice,” or simple chaos. For businesses which have vital financial information such as bank numbers and passwords, or employee and customer information like social security numbers, or even private but important information like web passwords, losing this information to the wrong people can be detrimental to your business and to all associated with it. Having physical copies safe in a well-locked filing cabinet will allow you to avoid the risk of a hack altogether. While paper is more costly and slower to share, it boosts security, protects individuals, and creates a peace of mind.
- It Does Indeed Save Money.
While moving to digital does improve productivity, efficiency, and saves money on purchasing additional paper, ink, and necessary physical storage, if your business was formed and managed before the digital boom, you still have quite a few paper files. Like many businesses, you can recycle these documents, shred them, or have an impromptu office bonfire, but doing so is a loss to your business, as this is money that was once invested and is now being wasted. For the above stated advantages, keeping physical copies can pose an advantage to your business for security reasons, and it also helps for financial reasons. Why call the previous investment a loss? Simply keep ahold of these papers and benefit from the security and the peace of mind, all while keeping that previous investment from being in vain. And once you have made this decision, a filing cabinet is ready to assist.
The move to a digital world is a wise choice in this modern age for a variety of financial and productivity reasons, but that does not mean the paper format has been left behind – or that it should be left behind. We still live in a physical world, and there are many ways that a filing cabinet can benefit you, your business, and your clients, whether you’re embracing the modern age or simply keeping up with the times.