As everything goes digital, it becomes more and more important to establish new methods for quickly disseminating information. It isn’t enough to simply store files on a hard drive; they need to be accessible and well-organized.

A well-managed file system can help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, and giving the right people constant access to certain files and computer systems can stop potential catastrophes before any serious damage can be done. Businesses need digital data rooms, and the ones that delay getting on board have the most to lose.

1. Preserving documents

Paper decays fairly rapidly, and it takes far longer to sort through files by hand than it does to track them down within a computer system. Existing companies already have mountains of paper records, and the problem only compounds with time. Digital storage completely eliminates many of the hassles that go with traditional record keeping, and so long as businesses maintain multiple backups of everything through the present day, there’s virtually no chance that anything will ever be lost.

2. Accountability

Data rooms make it easy to display all of the pertinent information investors might ask to see. Investors don’t like risk, and having everything gathered in one place projects the image that a company stays on top of things and that it is ultimately trustworthy. The relationships that companies can build with investors through a well-structured data room is worth the time and effort in and of itself.

3. Investors can gain access from anywhere

Data rooms don’t have to be put online, but the ease of communication makes it a tempting prospect. Security is a major concern, but there are programs that are able to deal with any potential threats, and having someone on staff who understands the inner workings of the data center enables a company to keep major threats from breaking through. Yet again, the major benefit is accessibility, and being able to share information with bidders from around the world can only benefit a business.

4. Online data rooms make transactions easy

The number one rule of business is to give people what they want, and that’s as true with investors as it is with customers. Creating an online data room results in a big uptick in bids, and the bids placed through data rooms are larger on average than bids placed through other channels.

5. Investors get more information

The reason that bids placed through data rooms tend to be larger is because investors get more quality information before they have to make a decision. A mix of higher quality and higher quantity results in monetary gain. Data rooms make transactions so quick and painless that countless investors have begun to use them exclusively when planning deals.

Digital is everything

There are pitfalls to virtual data rooms, and there always will be. Every system has holes. What matters is whether or not the problems posed by new technology outweigh the advantages of adopting it, and virtual data rooms are a prime example of tech that improves on existing models and gets better by the day. Any business that needs to attract new capital should definitely consider going virtual.

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Kelli Matthews

Kelli Matthews is an instructor of public relations at the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication, she owns marketing and PR firm Verve Northwest Communications and is a "mama-squared." Her and her partner just welcomed baby number 2 in May 2012. He joins his big brother (age 6). Find her on Twitter at @kmatthews or via email at