February 2018 Newsletter – To Scan or Not Scan

Feb 1, 2018 | Blog, Newsletters


For over 25 years, I have been an advocate of “scan it all”.  It is my experience that once you have captured it, you can apply retention policies and dispose of records based on those requirements verses culling through thousands of pages of paper and deciding what to scan and what to discard.  For me, it seems the most logical approach when you have a large quantity of documents. I also have to ask “how do you know what you have if you don’t know what you actually have?”.

Box to scanIn a recent training on Information Governance, a new concept of “scan day forward approach” was presented which was to scan Day forward, only keep the paper based on retention requirements and dispose of the rest.   I really had to rethink this concept if I was going to recommend this to our clients.

With technology getting better and better, software automating our data extraction from documents and tools that can lower the cost of capturing this content, I found myself going back to my original concept of scan everything and apply classification and retention policies to the captured data.

While it may appear to cost more in the beginning to scan everything, the potential cost in litigation, FOIA and good business decisions far outweighs the one-time costs.  E-discovery costs alone begin at $300,000.00.  There are predictive insights and business intelligence gained when collecting this content.   Of course, if you know you don’t need certain documents, you obviously should not include them.

It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.