Should I scan or should I store?

By Andrés Bruzzoni

With the rise of the digital era, many companies are scanning their old paper files and accessing them through their computers. After all, it is a fast and easy way to access any of their records. But when is it the right option to run this kind of project, and when is it better to keep the hard copy securely stored off-site?


Last month, we visited an engineering company who was interested in scanning their old Customer Service and Certification Records. They needed to access these files when any of their clients have an occasional incident with the machines provided. During the meeting we asked three questions:

  1. How many files did they want to scan? Answer: Around 1,200 files.
  2. How often did they need to retrieve this information?  A: 2 files per week
  3. Did they need to retrieve the information ASAP or could they wait until next day? A: They could wait until next day.

... or Store?

As the company could wait until next day to get their files retrieved, apart from the scanning budget, we prepared an off-site secure storage one. There was an enormous difference between both budgets: the annual cost of storing these files off-site was 14 times cheaper than scanning.

This meant that if they stored the files off-site, it would take 14 years to pay the same amount of money that scanning them. Storage was the chosen option: apart from being a financial relief, many of these machines will stop being used during the next years and the need for information retrieval will be almost none.

Storing hard copies of your files may sound as an old-fashioned option, but it can help you to save money that you could be investing in your company growth. Plus, storing them off-site is as secure as preserving these files digitally.

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