6 Document Storage Ideas for Businesses

Discover ways to keep your documents secure and accessible whether you’re running lean or working on a global scale.

The average business handles a shocking amount of paper documents. Estimates show that U.S. offices will use a combined 12.1 trillion sheets of paper this year — and demand for paper will likely double by 2030. Paper needs differ depending on the size of the business and industry, but virtually all organizations will need some combination of on-site and cloud-based storage solutions to streamline processes, keep employees productive, and ensure vital information remains secure.

These document storage ideas aim to help start-ups, small businesses, and global enterprises find solutions that will help meet their current needs while allowing them to scale for future demands. Read on to learn more.

Read our free ultimate guide to learn how you can effectively implement the best document storage system for your business.

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Best on premise document storage ideas

For start-ups: Secure and organized file cabinets

If you’re working lean and can’t rely on having a large amount of space available, the most crucial step to storing old documents is organization — and file cabinets are one of the best document storage methods for businesses on a budget.

Picking up a few file cabinets (with either key or combination lock security) and properly labeling drawers and folders will go a long way toward ensuring that you and your employees have ready access to physical documents when needed. If you need to scale up, simply add more cabinets. And once you’ve outgrown your current storage space, you’ve already got an organizational process that will move with you wherever you end up.

Did You Know?:The fi-800R is the smallest scanner in its class and comes equipped with a 20-page automatic document feeder capable of scanning up to 40 pages per minute.

For small businesses: Create a dedicated archive room

If you have the space available and need to store a significant amount of documents on-site, then consider reserving some office space — if not an entire room — to document storage.

Here, you can store individual files in cabinets or sort larger boxes of bulk documentation on shelves. More space also means large document storage will be more accessible. And with a dedicated room, you can implement a simple mechanical lock or card-based security to ensure you know who is accessing your documents at all times.

For enterprise/global businesses: Hire a document storage solution

Larger organizations are more likely to have complex security and compliance needs that go far beyond the typical start-up or small business. In that case, consider bringing on an external document storage solution to handle physical archives and ensure your organization follows the necessary procedures.

These organizations don’t just handle sorting and filing of on premises documentation. They can also help manage your mail room, develop security protocols for employees, and even manage long-term storage and destruction of files that are no longer needed. These businesses are experts at managing physical document archives — let them handle how to store documents so you can keep your business focused on what matters most.

Best cloud-based document storage ideas

For start-ups: Look for free options and scale up if you need more space

For start-ups, the volume of storage space likely isn’t the most pressing concern — it’s ensuring your files are easily accessible from a central location. This is especially true if your team works remotely, as everyone needs to ensure they’re working with the most up-to-date version of documents.

In that case, it’s best to pursue free or low-cost options that provide a decent amount of storage while ensuring your entire team has access. One such option is Google Drive, which provides 15 GB of free storage for individual users. Employees can easily share files with other Google accounts, and all documents are stored securely within Google’s cloud infrastructure. As you need more space, you can upgrade to a more extensive Google Workspace account, which provides access to additional storage and collaboration tools.

For small businesses: Subscribe to a dedicated cloud storage provider

With larger teams and the need for dedicated storage options, small businesses would do well to look into a subscription-based cloud-storage solution to meet their needs. The best document storage providers offer a range of tiers that scale based on the storage space, number of user accounts, security upgrades, and other features.

Options like Dropbox offer third-party application integration, ensuring your current productivity and collaboration software works seamlessly with the cloud.

For enterprise/global businesses: Implement large-scale solutions that encompass multiple products

Large organizations that operate at a worldwide scale need storage solutions that allow simultaneous access from hundreds — or even thousands — of users. Service must be reliable, secure, and work well with the tools and services needed to get the job done. For these businesses, an enterprise solution holistically incorporates cloud storage into productivity software, providing the most significant gains to productivity and usability.

For example, Microsoft offers OneDrive cloud storage for documents in its Microsoft 365 enterprise package — providing cloud access to files in collaboration tools like Teams, email software like Outlook, the document creation and editing suite offered by Office, and much more. Storage, access, and additional features are customized based on the organization’s needs rather than split into tiers. This ensures your organization has everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t.

Did You Know?:The fi-7300NX EdgeXperience Bundle offers secure image data transfers with 128-bit AES encryption and hosts files on Microsoft Azure for seamless access to vital documents.

Our recommendation: fi and SP Series scanners

Those in the market for a document scanner that will enable cloud storage of physical paperwork have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP Series of scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, our fi and SP Series scanners are capable of processing tens-of-thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

If space is a concern, our fi-800R is an ultra-compact yet versatile entry-level scanner capable of digitizing up to 40 double-sided pages per minute. Or sync directly with the cloud with the Wi-Fi-enabled fi-7300NX EdgeXperience Bundle. Whether you’re with a start-up or a globe-spanning enterprise, we have a scanner that can help get your documents digitized and stored accurately. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.