Here are some file management practices every business should adopt
Ever wondered how much data is created daily? Forbes has an answer for you: a staggering 2 quintillion bytes (and counting) of data are created each day. To put this in perspective, 90% of the data in the world was generated only a couple of years ago.
Aside from individuals, business organizations are one of the highest generators of data volume daily. Estimates indicate that 249 billion emails are sent daily. Your guess is as good as mine: business contributes a large chunk of those emails. Rope in the files and documents, and you’ll realize that businesses have a heap of files passing through their systems daily.
From the inability to locate files, disorganization to possible data breaches, a myriad of problems are bound to arise from an absence of a quality file management system. Here are three key areas every business should focus on to ensure proper file management.
The most prudent way to ensure files are handled properly is to start from its inception. Your company should have a policy that clearly spells out how files should be created, received, classified and stored. Such a policy guideline ensures that workflow is streamlined and made easy for everyone.
For instance, the way files are named is very crucial to ensuring workflow. And the cost of neglecting something as simple as file naming can be immeasurable. Remember the infamous Y2K or millennium bug? The United States eventually spent about $150 billion correcting an error that resulted from the wrong classification of dates.
Princeton recommends that the following should be considered in creating a naming convention for files.
- Date of creation (putting the date in the front will facilitate computer-aided date sorting)
- Short Description
- Project name or number
- Version number
How to store files securely
There are a number of reasons that have occasioned the need for proper storage of files and data in general. Government regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have made record keeping mandatory. Keeping an eye out for possible legal wrangling as well as storing files against possible crashes or data loss has also made data storage key for every business.
From storage systems as small as flash drives and external hard drives to cloud and network-attached storage, there are several options to choose from. Often a combination of various storage systems works best.
Your company’s IT plan should spell out the accepted practices regarding the storage of data. Passwords and encryptions may be necessary to ensure data is secure.
File sharing and file transfer is another area where businesses must prioritize. Considering the upsurge of data breaches, best practice for file sharing has no longer become an option but a dire necessity. File transfer must also not be arbitrary. For instance, there should be a clearly spelled-out framework within which files are transferred.
Whether it’s a cloud storage service, specialized file-transfer service or transferring data physically, everyone in the company should be conversant with what the do’s and don’t’s are. Even if the file is outsized, you can consider large file transfer options.
In sum, because businesses deal with tons of files daily, there is a need to ensure that the process from file creation to file transfer is streamlined. A carefully framed IT policy should be developed as a guideline in order to ensure compliance at all times. This would ensure that your business is safeguarded.