The dawn of digital media shaped and changed our society, our norms and our way of life. The culture of our work and corporate offices also change as our time enters a new century.
We are used to produce hard copies for every document that we handle and if we need multiple copies, we need to go the extra mile to have it photocopied to give everyone a copy but now, if you need to share a specific file to someone you can simply send an email and attach the file. Easy peasy.
However, there has been quite a debate on whether hard copies are better than digital one or vice versa especially if you’re dealing with sensitive information and confidential files. Let’s weigh in which is better and who will win the copy battle.
Using hard copies for company documents is perceived as more formal as oppose to using digital files. Also, it is deemed to be safer when it comes to storing information as it can be kept in a secured place where no one can hack into it. It’s also good for preserving records as it cannot be corrupted in a way digital copies can. Also, if you need to bring and share documents where internet is not that good, having hard copies is your best bet.
One of the most important use of hard copies is for formal documents such contracts, land titles, legal documents and the like. It is very seldom that you’ll see formal documents in digital form and being forwarded as such and it’s safe for these kind of documents as hard copies are not easy to tamper. Also, producing back- ups for your files in hard copies is not really imperative as like what I’ve mentioned earlier, it cannot be corrupted in a way digital files can.
One of the greatest selling point of digital documents is convenience. It’s easy to give out copies, perfect for producing back- up and it’s cost- efficient. You don’t have to spend tons of resources to print documents as it can be shared digitally. It’s faster to transfer files as it does not have to go through any messenger or post office to reach its destination.
It will also be easy to edit any error or change any necessary modifications in the files unlike with hard copy where you need to print a whole page for a one- word mistake. If you need to bring multiple files, instead of bringing boxes of papers, you just need to bring your flash drive or any external storage device.
After listing all the possible advantages and disadvantages of both sides, it is safe to conclude that both are important in every organization. Hard and digital copies both have its strengths and weaknesses that each can compensate for the other. Deciding on whether to use hard copies or digital files depends on the requirements it needs to fulfill.