We hate to admit it, but there is just too much stuff on the internet these days.
Did you know there are over 2.5 trillion PDFs created each year? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. New documents of every style and size are filling up the empty corners of the web with each passing second.
Naturally, controlling, protecting, and tracking these countless documents have become nearly impossible. There is just too much out there to keep up with. Add in our endless connectivity and that documents can be duplicated and distributed across the globe in seconds, and document security and regulatory compliance become legitimate concerns for businesses.
According to a survey of over 500 industry professionals by BPI Network, these concerns are on the forefront of executives’ minds:
- The majority said that the “accelerated pace and connectivity of business” is requiring more investments of time and money into document production and storage than ever before (83 percent)
- Many claimed that organizational pushes for better process formalization is driving the need for more documents (42 percent)
- A third of respondents reported an increased need for documents due to advancing business complexities and industry partnerships (33 percent)
- Over a quarter cited greater regulatory compliance and oversight as a driving force for more documents (26 percent)
What does it all mean?
There are many factors driving the need for more comprehensive documentation. Unfortunately, with increased documentation comes increased risk. According to BPIs report, the biggest document challenges faced by businesses include:
- Maintaining document security (84 percent)
- Inefficiency stemming from document mishandling (59 percent)
- Increased risk and incompatibility issues when using multiple document versions (36 percent)
These challenges leave executives in a tricky situation. Industry processes are driving the creation of never-ending documents that must be stored and protected within regulatory guidelines.
Locking Down the Docs
Despite regulatory challenges that increase commensurately with the number of documents produced, CIOs are not alone in the document compliance fight. Though technology has facilitated the problem, it also provides solutions—cloud-based platforms can substantially increase document-processing visibility. Finding a solution that allows users to retrieve documents digitally, update from any location, and track changes made to each file is a good first step.
More broadly, processes should be established for verifying and authenticating each document created. While streamlining document creation and approval is no easy task, taking a hands-on approach to document security will become necessary moving forward. Each file produced must undergo a systematic review to ensure accuracy and efficiency of delivery. As these processes integrate into business infrastructure and cloud security solutions continue to evolve, handing the endless flood of new documentation will become much more manageable.
Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization
Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.