As time goes on, fewer and fewer people remember what it took to run a business before the advent of computer technology. And for youngsters just getting their degrees and entering the job market, the thought of running a company without computers probably seems like madness. Yet, there are still plenty of people who manage their operations in an old-school fashion, even if they have succumbed to the technological revolution to some degree. Just look at how many businesses still don’t have web pages, online stores, or virtual marketing campaigns. However, if you’re still using the data storage devices of old (i.e. filing cabinets) you might be interested to know that there are secure ways to keep your files orderly and stop them from taking up valuable physical space in your office. In addition to these benefits, virtual data rooms are also eminently eco-friendly.
So what is a virtual data room? Remember the holodeck on Star Trek, where a virtual area the size of a warehouse could fit in a real-life space the size of a washroom? It’s sort of like that, only you don’t get to walk around in it. It’s basically a limitless storage space for your business files, although it comes with a little catch: they have to be in an electronic format. However, it also has some added features that you might find useful depending on the type of business you run. Because of the security in place, many companies also use this platform for distribution of files. Most commonly, virtual data room usage centers on financial transactions such as venture capital transfers, loan syndication, and even mergers and acquisitions. Considering that you might have to shell out for a storage facility to host hard copies of your many business documents (not to mention security), as well as couriers to transfer documents to other parties, virtual data rooms provide a highly efficient (and probably cost-effective) way to manage your data virtually.
But how does this make it a green option for the company looking to cut its carbon footprint? First of all, it’s a paperless method of storing documents and doing transactions. You no longer have to copy in triplicate in order to send quarterly reports to your partners. With a virtual data room you simply grant access to the file and allow them to view it for a set amount of time. You may even have an option to copy (although this depends on your level of security – in most cases copying or changing files is verboten). In a world where “click here” speed is expected, paper is simply passé. And if you’re looking to go green, giving up on wood pulp is a great way to meet your goals of curbing deforestation through better business practices. Plus, no more couriers means you’re cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Of course, the servers that host your data do require electricity to run. But then again, so do the storage warehouses you contract to keep your physical files in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment, so you’re about square on that one. And if you opt to offset your electricity usage by purchasing alternative energy credits you can virtually wipe your carbon debt clean. The point is, virtual data storage is far more eco-friendly than the old-school methods you may be used to. So if you want to go green with your business, transitioning to virtual data rooms is one great option.