As businesses work to reduce the costs of physical information systems, and to make their systems more efficient and compatible with innovative technology, online document transmissions have become the primary method for business transactions. However, the use of digital documents brings with it some concerns. The transmission of documents internally and externally can be made more efficient, yet this ease in document dissemination may involve legality concerns associated with potential business policy violations, HIPAA violations, and accountability.
As the use of digital documentation increases, the problems of balancing portability with security become apparent as it is difficult to incorporate security controls while still allowing easy access to the intended document recipients. Further complicating the accessibility of documents, organizations transmit many documents with intellectual property or private individual information. Therefore the level of security, management, and storage of a system must be flexible enough to accommodate different uses and compliance requirements, while still being unified to prevent data leakage.
In order to resolve security and efficiency issues, businesses have enacted a variety of new systems, such as file sharing services and internally deployed systems; however, each has their accessibility and security drawbacks. While File sharing services allow organizations to share multiple documents with another entity, they do not transmit documents via fax or email in a secure, and trackable way. These services can be difficult to manage and are built for long-term sharing purposes, not for singular transactions. Internally deployed systems, closed systems which house documents completely within an organization’s network, may ease document management and increase security, but do not allow for audit, transmission, and receipt trails or easy access; authorized users in distributed organizations may have difficulty accessing the documents from external networks.
Cloud-based e-document services provide a solution as they enable efficient document sharing, internally and externally, while still maintaining a secure and accountable environment. eDocuments may be encrypted and protected based on policies and security requirements. Accountability is an innate advantage of these systems as transmission and receipt of documents can be tracked and stored, and history logs are available for auditing purposes. Cloud-solutions can also be designed to be compatible with compliance requirements, while providing an easy and efficient user interface. In addition, unlike internally based systems which may specialize in working with a specific number of documents, Cloud-based services offer scalability, reducing overhead costs with their pay as you go methodology.
You can download the complete whitepaper “Digital Documents, Compliance and the Cloud" here.