Benefits of a Virtual Data Room for Working from Home
If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it is that we need to be able to work in a fluid state, flexible and maneuverable. More than a third of the United States has been forced to work from home, with similar numbers all across the world. There has been a paradigm shift in the way that we view our jobs, but at the same time we’re just as concerned about security and data protection. The first quarter of 2020 has been a textbook case for virtual data rooms.
A virtual data room (VDR), is an online database where companies and entities can store protected and confidential information, usually during a financial transaction. It replaces the need for executives to travel the country to visit the companies they were working with, sign NDAs and other documents, and be let into a physical room where sensitive financial data was held. These rooms had the benefit of a paper trail, a constant accounting of who accessed what and when. A VDR is the same thing except, as the name suggests, virtual. It takes a collection of highly protected virtual assets, makes them visible to a select group of interested parties–at the discretion of the owner–and keeps instantaneous logs of viewership information.
The Case for VDRs
VDRs are most often used in highly sensitive financial transactions, primarily mergers and acquisitions, where both sides of the deal want to view the information and do their due diligence. They want online security–an essential–but physical data rooms have been rendered obsolete by technology. No longer do companies have to send their finance and accounting specialists by plane to a foreign city, go into a locked room, and inspect pages of physical documents. It’s all done from the comfort of the home office, with exceptional security and encryption.
VDRs as Work From Home
And if a VDR is useful for working from the office, then isn’t it reasonable to assume that the financial and accounting executives shouldn’t be able to access all of that same information from their homes. Not only do many executives increasingly work from home even under perfect circumstances, but now we live in a world of uncertainty where who knows how long it will be before offices open up again? On top of that, many analysts and futurists have predicted that the work-from-home atmosphere of the COVID-19 pandemic will have far-reaching effects on what we view as the traditional workplace. It may very well be that many people begin working some or all of their time from their homes because the technology exists to make it happen, and because of the convenience and perks that it offers employees.
There are many reasons why a work-from-home model of virtual data rooms make sense for the future of companies:
Less Need For Admin
In a physical data room, there is constant paperwork. Filing, photocopying, shuffling paper, organizing, scanning, and sharing with clients. All of this expense that your business is paying to someone–usually an administrative assistant or clerk. But with a VDR, there is no paperwork. This menial labor is replaced with a few clicks of a button and digitally all of that action is performed. With a VDR, your work is sorted the way you wanted, bookmarked the way you want it, and easily recalled without the need for admin costs. Without the need for an extra person or persons, an executive can do all the work from home without worrying about messing up the filing system, scanning the right documents, or paying someone to sort out all of their mess.
When working from home, studies have shown that employees not only work as much as they would from an office, but they work at all hours of the day or night. Maybe they like to take a break in the middle of the day and then stay up burning the midnight oil poring over documents. This would be problematic in a physical data room; in a physical data room you have to work on the schedule of the client. But when you’re working from home, you can pull up the proper documentation and data exactly when you need it, search through it, and close it all up without needing an assistant to clean up after you–or requiring you to retrace your steps and put everything back exactly how you found it. When you work from home, virtual data rooms are the next obvious evolution.
Encryption and Security
Long gone are the days when you needed to go into a private room in the office, long directly into your client’s system from a dedicated terminal, to ensure that the data was not in danger of being lost or leaked. With the data encryption, multi-layered firewalls, 24/7 security and backup servers, you can access data from a VDR at any time of day from any place you are and be confident in the knowledge that it is perfectly safe and protected. A VDR requires more than just a username and a password, but a two-stage authentication process, and that will add to your peace of mind. Users are only able to access the VDR from authenticated IP addresses, so once you get set up, you know that you, on your home computer, will be able to login but that hackers from other IPs will be unable to infiltrate the sensitive financial information–and employees won’t be able to accidentally leak information.
Right now is the ideal time to get started in virtual data rooms.