An amazing technology breakthrough - Dan Gillmor reports on a major milestone: storage costs for electronic files has dropped to $1 per Gigabyte. Dan's article reflects on the significance of low cost storage, and uses a lot of great examples.
For lawyers, who deal with reams of paper, here is another metric: 1 GB of data is equivalent to about 6 bankers boxes of scanned paper.
Here in our law firm it costs us $13.52 to send a box of records to storage, and then it's .23 per month for each box. So if we sent 6 boxes to storage, it would cost us $79.50 for the first month, and then $1.38 per month for the next 11 months. So the total yearly cost of storing 6 boxes would be $94.68.
Since it only costs $1 to store that data in electronic form, as compared to about $100 to store it in paper form, that means that the cost of storing paper is 100 times the cost of storing electronic documents.
Oh, and the cost of retrieving paper is not cheap. For our firm it would be $21.96 to retrieve a box from storage and return it. Or $13.39 to retrieve it permanently. Or $6.76 to have the storage company destroy the box. Obviously, there is no cost for retrieval or destruction of electronic files.