Data archiving is the practice of creating a secure archive of data that’s no longer in use by transferring it to and retaining it on a storage device long-term.
Companies use this information management process of storing data until the end of a set retention period for several reasons, including legal compliance (since archived data is trackable), protection against data loss, and storage reduction.
The information may or may not be used in the future but is kept until the end of its set retention period then deleted.
Coming up with a system that secures their documents may not be the first item on a new company’s agenda after buying a domain name.
But today, data archiving is an essential part of an organization’s record management.
The Digitization of Everything
Organizations originally started keeping archives to meet compliance obligations and defend against litigation or failing audits.
In recent years, however, organizations have seen record management in a more proactive light.
Today, businesses increasingly work with big data.
What’s more, the rapid evolution of workplace communications means that most interactions between coworkers and clients now take place across multiple virtual digital channels.
Granted, modern workers need the flexibility of these tools for collaboration and communication to do their work effectively.
One of the simple keys to good digital employee engagement and upgrading their experience is allowing workers flexibility while still having access to the information they need.
Data archiving enables an organization’s data to be easily accessed and safely stored and accommodates these types of communication.
These corporate records document and provide proof - explanation and evidence - of past and current activities.
Why Is Archiving Data Important?
Without a strategic data archiving policy, organizations can be vulnerable to potential risks.
Data can be compromised or lost as a result of employee error or even a natural disaster.
Let's dig into why archiving data is an essential practice for businesses.
Complying with industry standards for data storage or processing is critical for most organizations to avoid legal penalties.
In such strictly regulated industries, laws stipulate regulations that govern how data is stored and for specific retention periods.
The first electronic communications data that retention laws regulated was email, under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, which mandated electronic communications be kept along with paper records by organizations for five years.
Today, a good data archiving plan must incorporate a variety of communication records in addition to email.
That involves data from social media channels, internal and external video streaming platforms, instant messaging platforms and text messages, mobile calls - real-time speech analytics support storing and archiving the audio - and websites.
The rise of video content management systems like VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube allows companies to host, manage, and share video securely with internal or external corporate audiences will only add to the onslaught of data.
Ensuring that information from these channels is retained for the correct length of time is crucial in following laws and industry rules.
For organizations in such regulated industries, compliance is the principal reason for archiving data.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data protection authorities in the EU can impose fines as high as four percent of a company’s annual revenue on companies that find themselves in murky legal waters.
So, organizations must prevent the intentional or accidental destruction of records that they are legally required to keep.
While industries, such as financial services and healthcare, are more highly regulated, all organizations must adhere to record-keeping standards.
That means comprehensive data archiving moving forward.
Besides compliance reasons, data archiving protects against loss of data.
Storing data in a separate centrally managed storage medium reduces organizations’ risk of losing that data for good and facing loss of critical information and legal repercussions.
Source: Tech Pro Research Report
And surging capacity means that one of the main pain points for storage is its cost.
Backup and archived data are crucial to head off the worst consequences if disaster strikes.
While backup and archiving frequently get used interchangeably, they have precise meanings.
Backup is the process of recovering a copy of your existing active data after a data loss or corruption.
In contrast, an archive is where you store historical data that is no longer being actively used and ensure its readily accessible.
A primary data failure could result from several risk factors, including hardware or software failure or corruption, or human influences like the accidental deletion of data, to say nothing of cyberattacks and breaches that are becoming increasingly common.
Organizations can find themselves up against it when attempting to restore this data. Recovering data takes precious time and is rarely successful, if possible at all.
Data archiving solutions allow organizations to ensure that their record management system is audit-proof.
Communications data records need to be accessed to be used as evidence in a range of workplace legal matters if an organization gets sued due to employee disputes or discrimination cases.
VIDIZMO’s Digital Evidence Management System, for example, helps insurers manage their digital evidence files and speeds up insurance claim processing.
In resolving such employee relations or other third-party disputes, businesses often need to produce records as evidence to support their case.
That’s where data archiving systems come in and supercharge e-discovery.
Historically, businesses outsourced most of these e-discovery costs to third parties like legal counsel and service providers.
Today, organizations are bringing the work of e-discovery in-house and deploying data archiving solutions to adapt their process to the challenge of managing the unfathomable growth of communications data while bringing down their litigation costs.
Searching for case-relevant data has become akin to searching for the proverbial needle in an exponentially growing tech stack.
Organizations need to search vast data sets stretching across various tools and channels to determine how they should proceed in legal cases.
Fortunately, data archiving solutions are available - tools that work with email, instant messaging, or a small businesses’ implementation of its CRM - to support teams with the daunting challenges of e-discovery and early case assessment.
On the one hand, data archiving helps organizations efficiently sift through digital reams of both structured and unstructured data.
Then they can present evidence or gather information for an investigation that will inform their decisions about proposing a settlement to a third party, for example.
In the past, organizations typically built archives to store emails and scanned documents.
However, these solutions are no longer equal to the task of handling the kind of widely dispersed unstructured data from non-legacy data sources such as a business app on mobile devices, social media channels, and even video and audio files.
As businesses generate more and more data and their communication channels multiply and get more complex, the process of discovering it becomes that much more difficult.
Data archiving thus becomes critical for proactive organizations looking to stay on top of e-discovery.
Organizations need to ensure teams have sufficient training and know-how in their archiving solutions and electronic discovery.
So instead of frantically googling ‘to do list excel’ or ‘best data archiving system’, it’s best to invest in a device that allows you to effectively store important data.
Reducing operational costs
Earlier, we touched on the importance of data archiving as a safeguard against data loss. And data loss can result in downtime that impacts your bottom line.
But what other ways can archive data storage lower costs?
For one thing, data archiving can store information more cheaply, either on off-site servers or in the cloud with tiered storage cost options. Effectively, this reduces the cost of primary storage - generally a more expensive option.
Not only is data archiving a more cost-effective solution for organizations, moving their data increases efficiency by reducing the size of data backup.
The file systems of most organizations have a bad case of bloat, with a lot of their intellectual property data being absolutely vital to protect and in danger of leaving servers straining under the sheer overload.
Storing this data and archiving it on their own servers can ultimately compromise performance in a competitive environment by becoming a drag on the speed with which employees can do their work and access videos, emails and messages. Which can, in turn, increase the workload for the IT department left to assist employees in searching for stray files and records.
Data archiving, then, is a solution that allows businesses to relieve their servers of rarely accessed, large files, like old work meeting recordings, that take up a lot of space, and it can be used when deleting those large files is not an option for compliance reasons or other purposes.
Another bonus is that archiving such inactive data also reduces the amount of irrelevant
information a company search engine needs to parse, speeding up search query results.
Businesses can also avail themselves of tools that use advanced compression that seriously lightens the load on servers and others that support the extinguishing of duplicate records to boost efficiency further.
Video platforms like VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube come with video archival capabilities allowing organizations to archive old video assets in an organized manner with video management capabilities.
Archiving data is an old idea. But unstructured data is multiplying at a rapid speed, becoming a burden on a company’s day-to-day operations in doing what they need to do to abide by legal regulations.
New solutions are attractive to protect proliferating files and save time and dime in the long run.
Now that you know why data archiving is important, businesses can decide if it’s the right solution for archiving their worries and protecting their peace of mind.
If you'd like to set up a video archive solution for your organization, feel free to contact our team or visit our website for more information.
This article was submitted as a guest post by Grace Lau, who is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration and some use cases are for contact center training. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content.