It appears that everything in this world is turning digital. Even those with the largest CD or vinyl collections can scale it down into one little handheld device that you can access each individual song in less than a minute, perhaps even less than 10 seconds. Not only this, but the size of the space we can use ever increasing. I can remember only a few years ago whilst shopping for an MP3 player I found one that had 8GB of space for £139.99. I then looked across and the same brand of MP3 player had 80GB for £179.99. That is ten times the space for on £40.00, proving that digital space is not that expensive and the amount of information we can keep in one tiny space is incredible. This then got me thinking about how long it will be until we no longer used paper or if we will ever get to that stage. The demand for office storage has decreased in the last decade, mainly due to the invention and integration of online cloud storage.
The idea of this is that you pay monthly to store you files or documents on the internet. On the face of it, it sounds like a great suggestion; however it does have its flaws and the first being the fact that you have to be connected to the internet to access your data. I understand that in this day and age you will be hard pushed to find an area where you cant access the internet, but as we all know computers, the internet and in fact quite a few computer driven electronics have a tendency to crash every once in a while. Not only this, but you not in complete control of your information.
What I mean by this is that there is another party involved in securing the safety of your files and it would not be the first time that people's online storage has "gone missing". Another form of digital storage for your office is an external hard drive. The advantage of this is that firstly for the space it uses up compared to the amount that it can hold means that it is hugely efficient in that respect. Another advantage of this is that, unlike cloud storage, you are in complete control and are the sole keeper of that information. That is unless you entrust someone else with it. Obviously there are disadvantages to this. The first one being that if there did happen to be a fire or a particular emergency that caused damage to the environment where the hard drive or other storage device had been placed and consequently destroyed it, you would lose every piece of information as everything would be stored on there.
The second disadvantage is that hard drives have been known to (for seemingly unknown reasons) wipe themselves, clearing themselves of part or even all the information contained on it. Looking at the above, we can now move onto physical storage, for example wall storage, filing cabinets, credenzas, tambour cupboards etc... We all know that they take up space but in the event of an emergency it is more likely that only part of the information contained in these office storage units will be affected. Having said all of this, it is actually advised that we make use of all three of these storage options. It has been suggested that in order to truly secure your information it should be kept in at least 3 different places. The storage should also be kept at least 60m away from each other.
Cloud storage is easy to make sure that it is at a safe distance as it can be accessed from anywhere.Hard drives are very portable so by keeping it out of the office will ensure (as long as you have physical copies of the information) that your data is secure. It has been a common misconception that digital storage will actually kill off the need for filing cabinets, low cupboards, bookcases etc... in the office and we will live in a paperless world. This is not the case however that instead of becoming the enemy of paper and the humble filing cabinet, it is actually here to support it and keep the information that is so precious to us more secure than it has ever been.