Data archiving is an important process that many companies are reluctant about following. Explained in simple terms, it refers to archiving documents that are no longer being actively used and moving them for separate storage. The decision to archive documents brings both security and functionality benefits to the table.
Data Archiving: A Basic Overview
A data archive consists of older files that are currently not being used by a company but that contain important information. Such files could potentially be required for reference in the future or during an auditing process.
Well-structured data archives that are created with a document management system are usually indexed. This means that the files in the archive could easily be searched and accessed upon necessity.
It’s important to understand that to archive documents is not the same as to create a backup. Backups usually consist of copies of important files. A backup database is used to restore lost, misplaced or damaged files. An archive contains older information that’s no longer being active required for the completion of everyday processes.
Why You Should Archive Documents for Safety Purposes
The decision to archive documents comes with an array of security benefits.For a start, archived files could be read-only. This means that members of the organization will be capable of retrieving the information without doing modifications or eventually deleting the files. Using a read-only archive reduces the risk of data loss and it also prevents the modification of archives for the purpose of regulatory compliance.
A data archive will be readily accessible, as long as the right permission level is being utilized. It’s possible to create levels of access, giving different members of the organization specific archive usage rights. Such a system maintains vulnerable information completely safe.
Finally, the decision to archive documents ensures legal compliance. Depending on the organization specifics, it will be required to maintain a document archive for a certain number of years. This way, regulatory compliance is guaranteed and the company will be free from having to deal with fines or even legal action.
Additional Document Archive Advantages
Apart from being a great option in terms of ensuring data security, a data archive could be beneficial in several additional ways.
When you archive documents, you’re making it easier for employees to access operational files. Imagine a huge database that features hundreds of files nobody is using. While a good document management system will ensure access to all of the important information, the older files will create some clutter.
Moving older files to a separate archive simplifies the process of accessing information required for everyday business operations.
The archive will still be easy to use, especially if you opt for an online solution. In this scenario, archived files will be accessible as long as an individual has good internet connectivity and the right permission. Online archiving is ideal for companies that have multiple offices or employees that travel a lot.
Archiving reduces the volume of data that will have to be backed up on a regular basis. Backup and restore performances will be enhanced significantly when the data set is smaller.
When to Archive?
Every company that handles a certain number of documents on a regular basis will reach a point at which the database will become cluttered. The decision when to archive varies from one organization to another.
Some document management solutions come with automatic archiving that applies to documents nobody has used for a certain period of time. Such a solution reduces the risk of human error and results in a well-organized, readily accessible archive.