Although there are a lot of benefits to retaining documents digitally rather than paper, there's the question of legacy documents. At home, this can usually be easily managed but for larger enterprises, the costs of digitising paper documents may not make financial sense.
An article at Image and Data Manager has crunched the numbers, comparing retaining paper documents versus scanning them.
Allocating a cost of scanning at $0.08 per page at a client site, they determined the cost of scanning 440 archive boxes of documents, each holding 2500 sheets of paper, to be $88,000.
Storing all those boxes came in at $4500 per year.
In other words, it would take just over 19.5 years for the cost of storage to hit the cost of scanning.
Of course, scanned documents can be potentially subjected to OCR and indexing, making it easier to find specific documents so the benefits case for scanning isn't simply based on the costs. And not all documents need to be retained for the same period so some of those storage costs can be reduced further.
But I was surprised at the disparity in costs.
Has your business gone through the process of digitising paper records and measured the costs? What did you find?