At 02:33 PM 9/14/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>Cindy - I'm not certain whether there are any existing, up-to-date studies,
>but my past experience indicates that the break-even point can be as far out
>as 15 years for the use of microfilm, if you're talking solely about storage
>costs.  It could be a shorter period of time, if your cost-per-square foot
>of office space is high, or could be longer, if you're relying on low-cost
>off-site storage for paper (excluding the cost of retrieving the
>information).   Microfilm has not typically been justified solely on the
>basis of storage, but on that in conjunction with improved information
>access, reduction or elimination of mis-filed documents, improved
>duplication capabilities and improved prospects for disaster recovery.

Another thing that figures into the calculation now is if you're
considering microfilm versus some other form of media for images.

If you have records with extensive retention periods and they may require
periodic migration during their lifecycle due to probable media degradation
of various forms of electronic media, then microfilm may be a less costly
answer for you over the long run.  One of the areas this figures in is in
the use of processes like the Kodak ArchiveWriter, where scans are made in
a TIFF format, then capture in microfilm and then written to some form of
electronic media, either as captured, compressed (in TIFF) or converted to
PDF.   The microfilm can serve as your "deep" archive (or vital record)
copy and the electronic media as your "use copy" in a production environment.

As Doug stated, the break even point on regularly accessed paper based
records depends on the activity level and how long you need to retain them,
but another thing to calculate into the storage is the inevitable cost of
permanent withdrawal from storage if you store with certain commercial
service providers. This is one thing that was never calculated into the old
studies as I recall, because that practice was not in existence then.


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