here is an extract from a guideline document I developed very recently:

Deciding what to scan

Scanning is very often part of a move to a largely electronic way of
working, but it is not the whole picture and often not the most cost
effective solution. The main reasons for scanning are:

* To make documents quickly and simultaneously available to many users,
particularly if the users are spread across multiple sites
* To integrate hardcopy documents into new or existing electronic procedures
* To protect important documents, eg as part of business continuity or
disaster recovery planning (although if the records are rarely used, storing
photocopies offsite will be cheaper)
* To save space (however offsite hardcopy storage is at least four times
cheaper than scanning, on a cost per page or cost per image basis)

So as a generalisation, you would only scan records that are frequently or
simultaneously used, and where the required retrieval time is less than one
day. You would also scan material to integrate it into existing or new
electronic processes. You would only scan records to protect them, or to
save space, if electronic integration or simultaneous rapid access were also

Even within one record type, different solutions may apply. Newer records
tend to be used more often than older ones, so you might also decide to scan
records received after a specific point in time, and transfer the older ones
to offsite storage. It is rarely necessary or justifiable to scan material
older than three years.

Hope it helps


Glenn Sanders MRMA
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These views are mine alone. They may or may not be those of any
previous or present employers or clients. I don't know. If I'd asked
and they'd agreed, I would have signed it "Harry Peck and Co and
Glenn". Or whatever. But I haven't, so I didn't.

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