General Question

jengray72's avatar

Is your small business going paperless?

Asked by jengray72 (143points) April 18th, 2011

I know I’d like to cut down on the amount of paper coming through my home office, but I wonder about the risks of going entirely electronic, especially since I don’t have my own IT department. Are small businesses going paperless?

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8 Answers

ETpro's avatar

As quickly as I can reasonably get it there.

markylit's avatar

I am working on it. But yeah there would still be some things that can’t entirely go electronic.

Jaxk's avatar

I thought I was until my disk crashed. Unrecoverable. Even with good backup, it’s risky. And some things you (at least I am) are required to keep by the government. Nonetheless, having everything on the computer sure makes things easier. Even if you do still need to store paper.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Wow, that bites! It’s such a hassle to find and reassemble everything from here and there. And no matter how many hours you throw at it, you always have that nagging feeling you haven’t recovered them all.

Check out the CarboniteBroad_US&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_content=Generic&utm_term={QueryString}&match=s&adnumber=8884753981&mkwid=sbakKjoxG&gclid=CP7R6t20w6gCFYXd4AodWlO5pg backup service. It’s inexpensive and automated. Backs up huge disks to it. because the app running on your end only transfers what’s changed for the day, so you don’t need a Star Trek speed uplink. They store the data at multiple sites, so even a massive natural disaster doesn’t intefere with your backup integrity.

Of course, that doesn’t fix the current loss. There are services that can recover most (usually all) of the fata on a crashed drive, but they are horribly costly per meg of recovered data. But at least, it ensures that it won’t happen again.

Jaxk's avatar


Carbonite is a decent backup but it doesn’t get everything (unless your willing to pay a lot more). Things like multiple drives and the programs that that are either no longer supported or not compatible with your new operating system. There was a chance that I could have recovered the disk I lost but the estimates to do so were in the thousands. I got most of my data back but it was a chore recreating it. Some things are simply gone forever.

As long as the question is pertinent to my problem, I’ll go into some of the pitfalls I hit in hopes that @jengray72 may avoid them should he seek to go this way. I do everything on the computer. I get messages on prices, bank deposits, and myriad of things pertinent to running the business daily. So when my disk crashed, I was panicked to get back on line immediately. While the technicians were working to try and recover my data, I decided to buy a new computer. All the computers out there were running Vista and I had been running XP. I didn’t think there would be a major problem so I went forward. As it turns out much of the software I had was not compatible with vista. I didn’t get error messages while loading it but the computer would start acting funny and then stop working. Those programs were mostly no longer available or not available for Vista. So even the second drive I had in my original machine had problems due to compatibility issues. I decided to get my original computer running with a new drive. Unfortunately my operating system and most of my software were on the drive that crashed. If you haven’t noticed computers no longer come with a recovery disk. They expect you to create one when you first bring up the new computer. Guess what, I hadn’t done that. And as luck would have it, the old recovery disk for that system was no longer available from the manufacturer. So in order to gain access to my old drive (the one that still worked) I needed to buy a new operating system (XP) for a system I had already spent hundreds to try and fix and no longer needed. Bottom line is I spent weeks getting my system back to where it is now and I still lost a lot of data.

I seem to be a glutton for punishment because I still do everything on the computer. Frankly even with the time I devoted to recovery, I still save time in searching for and filing documents. Mostly paperless is the way to go but be diligent in your backup and pay close attention to upgrades. What is and what is not compatible. It can jump up and bite you when you least expect it.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I am sure you know now, but Windows 7 is far superior to Vista. That OS was a real stinker for backward compatibility issues. Also consider installing a RAID controller and running it set to keep multiole drives in sync. Good ones even alow hot swapping of a failed disk, and will automatically sync the new drive the the remaining old ones. Terabyte drives are too cheap now to let this be a problem.

You have my sincere sympathy. Been there. I know exactly how frustrating and time consuming recovery can bee.

Jaxk's avatar


Yes, unfortunately Windows 7 was not out yet. And I learned that Vista is the worst system ever created. I have no one to blame but myself for all this. I grew lax and lazy. And it bit me in the ass. Life’s a bitch and then you die.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Don’t feel alone. Same here. The only trap I didn;t fall into was VIsta. My disk catastrophe came before it arrived, thankfully. Hence the recommendation on Raid 5 and Carbonite offsite in case the frigging place burns down next time. :-(

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