What does the future of document storage look like?

With space at a premium and more and more businesses wanting to create a paperless environment, document storage is now becoming a popular option. It is the safe and secure way to keep hold of documents and information that cannot be disposed of, without needing to worry about having filing cabinets overflowing with paperwork.

What is document storage?

Most businesses will have a lot of documentation that they need to keep. It could be confidential records, policy documents or even certificates. Businesses might be required to hold onto these for a certain period of time by law or for insurance purposes, but these can take up significant amounts of space, and this space costs money. It is also something that is not particularly secure, as documents can easily be lost or fall into the wrong hands.

Document storage creates the facility to have all documents stored digitally. Each one is scanned and saved as a file that can then be kept securely in a digital format, protected by passwords and encryption. This means that businesses are able to save space, enhance security and be more environmentally friendly all whilst remaining compliant with any laws and regulations that might apply to them.

In some cases, digital storage may not be the answer, depending on the types of documents that are involved. This is why another option is to transfer paperwork to a dedicated document storage facility that can provide more comprehensive levels of security.

Moving away from paper

Many businesses still rely on paper because they need physical signatures for things or due to the fact that their customers still send them paper documentation. For others, it is simply the time and cost of making the switch that is proving to be the biggest roadblock. However, many businesses are starting to realise that document storage is going to be essential for their business sooner rather than later, and a shift towards this method of digitisation is starting to grow.


GDPR rules caused a lot of confusion when they were first brought in, and many businesses made significant changes in order to fall into line with them. In 2024, the data protection laws are once again coming to the forefront, as a European review is promising a new look at implementing ‘rights of access’.

For many businesses who still rely on physical documents, this is going to be a challenging thing to overcome as it is much more difficult for them to have a clear view on exactly what data they hold or even where it is.

When businesses do receive Subject Access Requests, they can cause significant headaches thanks to the time-consuming and often costly process of working through a physical inventory. This is therefore going to lead to a focus on streamlining these processes to make sure that data is not just secure but also properly catalogued.

If this is implemented, it is also likely to come with a deadline for compliance, and so it seems that more and more businesses will make the move towards digital storage in order to bring them into line with the recommendations. This will help them to achieve compliance by the deadline and should also improve their own processes at the same time.

It seems that a UK review will also be taking place this year, in order for the government to complete their Data Protection and Digital Information Bill. This will tweak the European laws even further and could make digitisation of documents even more imperative.

Storage solutions

We have known for some time that physically storing documents takes up far too much space, but now it seems that many are struggling to cope with the digital space that is required as well. The amount of data that businesses now hold is simply massive, and in 2023 over 120 zettabytes of data are believed to have been created.

One of the reasons for this is because businesses want to use data in order to make informed decisions on their processes and strategies. They gather this data to identify trends and patterns, but at the moment it only goes back to the point where they began collecting data in a digital format, and so the results that they are producing have their limitations.

In order to gain a fuller picture, businesses are now looking to transfer their physical data into a digital format. This means taking what could be decades of documents into consideration, and increasing the digital storage that they need.

Accommodating this level of storage can be difficult as well as expensive, and so many are turning to professional document storage experts who can help to make this a more manageable experience.

Economic factors

It will not have escaped anyone’s notice that the economic outlook has been a difficult one in the last few years. Many businesses are still recovering from the impact that COVID had on them and are struggling with the issues of inflation and high energy costs. This means that there is a renewed importance when it comes to cutting costs and so many are looking to move their documents offsite to dedicated storage facilities or to make them digital. This allows them to reduce the amount of space they are paying for or gives them the opportunity to use that space for more profitable ventures.

Environmental concerns

Businesses are now looking to be more sustainable, and document storage is playing a part in this. Whether it is being less reliant on paper or using less energy and space storing documents, professional document storage is proving to be one way to boost the green credentials of a business.

Document storage is something that is continuing to change and evolve along with the laws and threats that they face, which means the future of document storage looks like it is going to be a busy one.

Get in touch

If your business requires secure document storage services from a trusted storage company, then you can enquire with RADS today, or if you’re interested in any of our other services, such as document scanning or document shredding, you can contact our team today and we’ll be on hand to provide any additional information you may need.