Virtual Data Rooms: What Every Business Should Know
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, December 21 6:00
The vision of the paperless office is gradually becoming a reality as businesses realize the benefits of replacing space-consuming paper-based files with document management systems. Instead of taking up valuable space with file cabinets filled with file folders and paperwork, businesses can scan and save the files to a server, where they ll remain indefinitely. This also saves employees the extra work of printing documents out to store in file cabinets, since they can be saved directly to the same servers where scanned files are saved.
Another benefit of electronic document management is that businesses can easily share information with vendors, clients, and other business partners. Traditionally this has been done by adding the files as attachments in email, but this method makes it difficult to collaborate. For real-time shared access, businesses have relied on third-party tools like Google Docs to share file access with employees, contractors, and business partners. However, for more powerful, unbranded access, a virtual data room is a better option.
Virtual Data Room Defined
A virtual data room is an online document management system that can be shared between multiple parties. A business can add account access to certain files and control access, setting it so that any changes are clearly tracked, with comments clearly visible to all of the parties involved.
In addition to collaboration, there are several instances where virtual data rooms can be workable resources for businesses. Legal discovery, where documents are required to be visible to legal teams, is one of those instances. Virtual data rooms are also used for mergers and acquisitions, making it easy for acquiring companies to gain insight into a business s operations. Investors may also ask businesses to provide open access to documents during the decision-making process and a virtual data room can facilitate the process.
Virtual Data Room Setup
Obviously one of the top concerns for any business setting up a virtual data room is security. Businesses need to feel free to store documents of a sensitive nature in these repositories, so it s important to go with a trusted solutions provider, whether through recommendations or after thorough research.
Ease of use is another major consideration for businesses considering virtual data rooms. Business leaders should ask for a demo before making a final decision on a solution. It s important to find one that a business s employees, vendors, contractors, and other parties will be able to easily learn and use with minimal technical support or training. Unlike internal solutions, virtual data rooms are shared with a large number of people who aren t part of a business s staff. This means training isn t an option, so it s important to be able to send over basic instructions and receive minimal calls for help.
If a business currently needs to share documents with others or might in the future, a virtual data room can help. They ll set up a private meeting place for everyone who needs access to a business s files on a cloud-based server that is accessible 24 hours a day, using any Internet-connected device.