The move away from extensive paper storage and box stored archives is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Yet there are still those that are reluctant to take the leap and the main reason for this is always the same – give me a monetary indication on my return of investment?
Let’s unpack the issue systematically
• How much are you currently spending of your archiving storage? If its offsite there is a monthly storage cost per square meter. If its onsite – well same thing applies as space is being used that costs you money. Then you need to add in the cost of staff who manages your archives.
• Then adding to this is how are your stored archives being preserved? Are they all in fire or weather proof storage areas? Imagine there is a fire and all your archives are destroyed. What then would the cost implications be to your business? Digitising these archives would allow you to retrieve everything at the click of a button. (Remember in 2 013 a large storage company’s warehouse in Durban burnt to the ground – all its contents lost forever).
Give me more proof!
Naspers needed to digitise their entire archive of more than 6 million items – dating back to 1915. The data that had to be digitized included minutes, share registers, different types of film, photographs, books, newspapers and documents.
The solution – The more than 6 million documents were digitized in months by firstcoast™ – technology for a paper free world; using Alchemy as the document archive system and a combination of scanners exclusive to firstcoast™.
Wits University wanted to have an old collection of 35mm and 16mm roll microfilm with old political case files from 1960 digitized. They required high resolution images for preservation TIFF and compiled multipage PDF files for searching and sharing.
The Solution – firstcoast™ used the Mekel Mach 5 and Mekel Quantum software as well as the IRIS Document Server to meet all the requirements.
So it’s digitised now what?
Access to all these archives are now literally a click way. What a fantastic tool for research for both internal parties and external researchers or just the general public.
Not to mention the fact that this incredible history is preserved forever as it has been digitally archived – from actual photographs, newspapers printed, micro fiche and microfilms included. Storage is now at a minimum and can never be damaged by the elements.
Let’s get back to the original question – what is the return on investment. I would like to say that you are asking the wrong question. With all this intellectual property and incredible products and services on offer by firstcoast™ – you should be asking yourself ……how can I make money off my archives?
You could offer the access to your archives to the public or researchers as a set monthly fee for limited access – no staff are needed to manage this as its now all-digital!
Thinking out the box
You could then sell digital advertising/sponsored links on the archiving pages of your site – what a great way for brands to be visible to key target markets.
Having highlighted the benefits and ease of digitisation and the key business benefits surely you should now be looking at how to convert the incredible wealth of data you have archived and create an additional revenue stream for your business?
The return on your investment is that you have preserved the future of the past!