Tips for Transitioning Between Paper to Online Records

There’s no denying that today’s organizations put technology at the forefront of what they do. One such example is record-keeping; many businesses wish to transition their paper records onto digitally-stored ones that are accessible online.

Having digital records makes it easy to index and search for information, and it’s also easier to keep digitized information safer than the paper equivalents. If you wish to transition your paper records to online ones, the following these tips will help with your migration strategy.

Create a Plan of Action

There’s no point migrating your paper-based records to online ones if you haven’t got a structured plan in place. You must have a plan that details your migration process, including the following information:

  • The phases which you’re going to migrate your records;
  • A timeline and milestones to reach during the process;
  • Information on where you’ll be storing the records and how they can get accessed.

Your plan should answer all the key questions likely to be asked by project and organizational stakeholders. Examples include which data you can pre-fill, which information you don’t need to store, and how to report on your stored data.

Working with a managed IT consulting company will help you create a comprehensive plan of action, resulting in a successful record migration process.

Standardize Your Naming Conventions

One fact to keep in mind is how you plan to standardize your records. It makes sense to have a set of official naming conventions for filenames and document titles. There might come times where you have to search for data by using only fragments of information, and regular keyword searches may not always yield the right results. Secondly, it keeps all your online records organized and reduces frustration for your teams.

Here are some ways to help you standardize your naming conventions:

  • Keep each filename and document title short but meaningful;
  • Capitalize the beginning of each word;
  • Avoid unnecessary repetition.

Think About Keeping Paper Backups

Digitizing your records and making them available for online access is an excellent way to make information easier to access. However, depending on your business you should also consider maintaining a few paper records.

You may think this is pointless, given you’re migrating your records to a digital format. But, there are some cases where keeping paper documentation can also help. For instance, older generations may not have Internet access or know how to use a computer.

Also, if Internet connectivity gets disrupted or the storage medium suffers a hardware failure, it can take time to get back online. 

Choose the Most Flexible Migration Path

Finally, you should select the migration path for your organization that boasts the best flexibility. Some businesses and organizations opt for the cheapest migration options, yet they’re often the ones with the least flexibility.

For instance, a limited migration option could result in a lack of reporting or search options for your data. Plus, support for your chosen migration path might be lacking if you’re unable to improve how the data is stored as your business’s needs change.

Chris Turn

Chris Turn