Hidden Costs of Storage

13 / 01 / 20

Have you ever thought about how much space you could gain by switching from paper records to digital documents?

Think of all the offsite and office space allotted to the management and storage of paper documents. Filing cabinets and physical documents can be a substantial space drain. Offsite document storing costs can also add up.

In the last several years, organisations have rapidly increased the data volumes they retain and gather. Effectively managing company documents, records and sources of knowledge is an essential component of efficient and compliant operations.

Retention and disposition

It is important to locate and identify all information that the organisation holds. This will include the process of identifying duplicates and redundant, obsolete and trivial information (ROT), enabling a clean-up to take place before anything is migrated to a new system or simply to assist in managing storage issues.

After identifying the records that the organisation needs to keep, together with the reason why, the question then arises as to how long it should be kept for, what event determines when that period starts and what happens at the end of that period. Around 95% plus of information created is ROT and should be deleted; the issue is most organisations fail to do this and generally retain information indefinitely by default.

Scanning and Digitisation

As rental storage costs are expected to increase, more companies are shifting from paper storage to digital storage in an attempt to save space and costs.

Once the outdated material is disposed, the remaining documents and records should be scanned and stored in a corporate EDRMS, based on a fit for purpose information architecture. Not only does this create a paper-light culture whilst allowing employees to look for information quicker it also strengthens the security of data.

However, digital storage is very effective only if it is managed properly. Most organisations manage information poorly. They typically lack information policy and governance, organised information repositories, records management training, communication and awareness, and fit for purpose technology tools and information management systems.