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Why is having duplicate electronic documents a risk for an organization

By Irina Buian, Archivist at Coginov

Having duplicate electronic documents can pose several risks for an organization:

  1. Data Inconsistency: Duplicate documents can lead to data inconsistencies and discrepancies. If multiple versions of a document exist, it becomes challenging to determine which version is the most up-to-date or accurate. This can result in confusion, errors, and misinformed decision-making.
  2. Increased Storage Costs: Duplicate documents occupy unnecessary storage space, which can lead to increased storage costs. Storing multiple copies of the same document consumes valuable disk space or cloud storage resources. As the volume of duplicate documents grows, the organization may need to allocate additional resources for storage, resulting in unnecessary expenses.
  3. Decreased Efficiency: Duplicate documents can impede efficiency and productivity within an organization. Employees may waste time searching through multiple copies of a document, causing delays and frustration. It can also lead to redundant work, where employees unknowingly work on different versions of the same document, duplicating efforts and wasting resources. 
  4. Compliance and Legal Risks: Duplicate documents can pose compliance and legal risks. In regulated industries, organizations must adhere to specific document management requirements, including data retention periods and proper recordkeeping. Failure to manage duplicates effectively can result in non-compliance with industry regulations or legal obligations, potentially leading to penalties or legal disputes.
  5. Security and Data Breach Risks: Duplicate documents can increase security risks and potential data breaches. Each duplicate copy represents an additional potential entry point for unauthorized access. It becomes challenging to enforce proper access controls and security measures on all duplicates, increasing the likelihood of data leaks or unauthorized disclosures. 
  6. Version Control Challenges: Managing multiple versions of the same document becomes complex without proper version control. If changes or updates are made to one version of a document, it becomes difficult to ensure that all other copies are also updated consistently. This can lead to confusion, inconsistencies, and loss of data integrity.
  7. Document Lifecycle Management: Duplicates can complicate document lifecycle management. It becomes harder to track the history, review, update, and disposition of documents when multiple copies exist. Document retention and disposal policies may not be properly applied to all duplicates, leading to non-compliance and potential legal risks.
  8. Data Quality and Accuracy: Duplicate documents can compromise data quality and accuracy. When multiple copies of the same document are distributed or shared, updates or changes made to one copy may not be reflected in others. This can result in outdated or conflicting information being used, potentially impacting business operations, decision-making, or customer interactions.

    To mitigate these risks, organizations should implement effective document management practices, including deduplication processes, version control mechanisms, and clear document lifecycle management policies. Implementing an electronic document management system (EDMS) can help streamline document management, enforce version control, and reduce the likelihood of duplicates. Regular audits and reviews of document repositories can also identify and eliminate duplicate documents to maintain data consistency and improve operational efficiency.


We create innovative solutions.

COGINOV is recognized as a world leader in semantic technologies and information management. We are a Canadian software company offering our customers innovative solutions for managing structured and unstructured information. Our head office is based in Montreal.

Coginov’s Qore platform technology enhances the information value chain, transforming unstructured content into highly contextualized, accessible and valuable information. Coginov’s solutions enable you to capture, analyze, engage, automate and manage your information assets, with unrivalled accuracy and efficiency.

Discover our solutions QoreAuditQoreUltima and QoreMail