24th February, 2012
Data Archiving & why you and your organisation need it!

Data archiving, or content archiving as it is often referred to, is a computerised system that enables an organisation to retain critical information including documents, databases, financial data and any other data that may be required for future use or inspection at some point.

 

It is similar to the generic term of archiving, such as in a library where books and papers are archived for the general public to search for and retrieve when required. Data archiving allows employees within your company to access saved information. By archiving data your business can easily store and retrieve information that is vital to your company. A data archiving system can also help your business to comply with corporate governance guidelines, and can in some cases help reduce the cost of data storage.

 

The future of data archiving

 

The data archiving market is set for continued growth because organisations are often required to retain information in order to comply with international codes of conduct and in many cases local legislation. This means that many organisations must retain key data in order to comply with these rules for a pre-set number of years. These rules are unlikely to be relaxed. Indeed if anything, they are likely to become more rigid. This, together with the fact that data retention periods are getting longer, is likely to increase demand for content archiving systems.

 

As a result of these codes, information needs to be readily available and this scene is set to continue especially in light of activities such as the Enron scandal, and 911. Both had a major impact on the way that content is viewed, primarily as with case with Enron, is that information was withheld and some cases destroyed in order to cover up illegal activities. With regards to the 911 tragedies, it became apparent that terrorists could misuse company assets, mainly computer networks and Internet access, in order to plan terrorist activities.

 

Why data archiving?

 

One of the main reasons why you should consider implementing a data or content archiving system is to comply with the legislation or codes of conduct.

 

Some examples of legislation/codes of conducts are listed below:

 

●     Sarbanes Oxley

●     SEC rules 17a-4

●     HIPAA

●     European Union 8th Directive

 

These generally require businesses to retain key business information. Failure to comply can result in large fines or sanctions.

 

(Please note that this list is not conclusive and you must be aware of particular legislation that may affect your company and your specific requirements).

 

You should also be aware that:

 

•        Companies, company directors, and users can be held liable for failure to retain documents and records.

 

•        Electronic documents are admissible before a court of law (UK Civil Evidence Act 1995).

 

•        UK Applicable Laws include:

 

§  Vicarious Liability, e.g.

•        Defamation Act 

•        Sex Discrimination Act 

§  Privacy, e.g.

•        Data Protection Act 

•        Human Rights Act 

§  Regulatory Obligation.

 

What can I expect to gain by implementing a data archiving system?

 

Implementing a data archiving system can increase the efficiency of your organisation by allowing your computer systems to be freed from unnecessary data that might slow them down, while still leaving critical information easily accessible. Efficiency can also be increased by your personnel accessing previous work, helping them to avoid duplication of work that has been already been carried out.

 

Additionally, Intellectual Property (IP) (i.e. something that is created by the mind so isn't tangible) often has a commercial value and as a result of using a data archiving system you could potentially sell this as a product might be sold.

 

For more information about Data Archiving please visit our online guide.

 

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