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What is the right price for an electronic archive?

    Calculating the price of an archived document is an equation involving multiple factors, which is why we will not attempt to offer you a price but will simply list the main factors that influence it.

    Unquestionably, the first of these is volume. An archiving platform requires an infrastructure and an organization which can only result in a reasonable price if the denominator of the equation, i.e. the volume, is important. It is thus possible to find a factor of 1 to 1000 among the prices circulating on the market.

    Know-how is the next factor. It will be necessary to establish an efficient organization, scale up processing, drastically reduce human operations, adapt the infrastructure while controlling risks, and comply with regulations. All this cannot be improvised.

    Since volume and know-how are the two keys to the equation, it is appropriate early on for those who do not have one or not the other to ask themselves the crucial question: should I do it or have it done? ? Market providers obviously have the same volume logic and should be able to offer attractive prices for everyone, which is not necessarily the case.

    The corollary to volume is storage. There is no reason why the price of storing an archive should be higher than the price of a backup copy. Storage is a passive component, quickly obsolete and without any added value in archiving, but nevertheless always a source of cost drift. Also note that certain formats have the power to deduplicate certain parts of the document, thus drastically reducing their volume.

    Next comes the “probative value”. It is because this notion is abstruse that it can be the source of multiple abuses. It is important to analyze the risks involved and not to overestimate the expenses incurred to cover the risk. There are appropriate solutions to comply with regulatory obligations without incurring a waste of resources. The probative value should ultimately represent only a small fraction of the cost of the archive.

    Finally, the price of archive management software must only represent a tiny part of the equation.

    Document retention must be seen as a basic building block, unified for the entire company, which addresses multiple needs. It is also by searching for and eliminating other applications that provide a partial and related service that we manage to reduce costs because archives are frequently stored at multiple levels.

    Dominique LHOPITAL

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