What is Archiving: Why is it Important?

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Written By Haissam Abdul Malak

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Archiving should be regarded as a critical component of any company and should be incorporated into every organization’s records management strategy. Archives are live historical documents. They are valuable to companies because they provide documentation, explanation, and justification for both past and current actions.

Archiving is the process of securely storing inactive information in any format that you no longer use regularly for long-term retention. Such information is still important to organizations and must be retained for future reference or regulatory compliance.

Document archiving is the process of storing documents in a secure, long-term repository. This repository can be either physical or digital, and it is designed to protect the official documents from damage or destruction.

Archive documents are easier to locate, protect, and maintained throughout their lifecycle. Failing to do so will eventually have a negative effect on how your business operates.

In this article, we will cover the archiving meaning and go through the reasons why this practice is essential.

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What is Archiving?

Archive definition:

Archiving is the practice of safely preserving inactive information in digital and paper formats that you no longer use on a regular basis for long-term retention. Such information is still valuable to businesses and should be kept for future reference.

Archiving documents is used by organizations and enterprises to meet information retention obligations and to guarantee that archive data is available when needed. For example, in the event of a disagreement over business activity, contract, or financial transaction, the archive documents relevant to that issue can be retrieved.

Good archive management entails more than merely keeping information for historical and academic purposes. The importance of archives in good governance cannot be overstated.

Any business nowadays deals with a significant volume of data, and statistically, the creation of data within companies will continue to grow, which is why archiving is so important.

Data archiving is the technique of identifying inactive data and transferring it from production systems to long-term storage systems. It is mandated by many compliance and regulatory requirements, but it may also be useful during disaster recovery and forensic investigations.

For regulatory requirements, each institution should establish when information should be preserved, where it should be held, and how long it should be maintained before being destroyed.

Why Is Archiving So Important?

The reason why archives are important is that archiving benefits are enormous and play an important role in an organization’s success.

Archiving helps organizations minimize data loss, decrease operating expenses, improve document security, increase compliance with various laws and regulations, and provide audit and legal proof in the event of a legal or audit incident.

As a company expands, it generates more data, which must be rigorously maintained and monitored in order to be appropriately utilized. Keeping track of this archive data might be difficult for organizations that have never implemented a system.

In the technological age, all companies must begin preserving public records for a variety of reasons, such as governmental rules, legal obligations, intellectual property, or simply because the papers are no longer required.

Keeping them available all the time is labor intensive as it costs a lot of resources, such as storage, manpower, and so on, as well as a loss in employee productivity because they have to keep maintaining the archive data even when it is not being used on a regular basis.

Let’s look at some of the archiving benefits that businesses may obtain by implementing a suitable archiving strategy.

The six archiving benefits are:

1- Prevent Data Loss

Among the top archiving benefits is the ability to prevent any data loss within organizations.

The loss of crucial documents might have serious consequences for your company. In fact, according to the paperless project, every misfiled document costs $125, and each lost document costs $350 to $700.

As a result, it is critical to store archived data in a centralized and secure repository.

Archived data becomes quite simple to make this information available to employees again.

If archived data is not stored in a centrally controlled location, it is more likely to be lost forever.

2- Reduce Operational Costs

As previously indicated, recreating a lost document might cost up to $700. Organizations would ensure that no papers were lost by using a solution.

The more documents you lose, the more downtime your business will experience. That is why archiving documents is an essential practice within businesses. Archive purpose is to reduce the number of lost documents in order to improve productivity.

Data archiving lowers the cost of primary storage, which is often expensive. These data will subsequently be kept in less expensive forms of storage.

In addition, moving such information will surely reduce the size of data backup.

3- Improved Security

Improving security is one of the top archiving benefits that organizations consider.

In an era where cyber-attacks and breaches are becoming increasingly common, preserving corporate documents may help businesses maintain track of all their information throughout their lifespan.

Using a system to archive documents allows you to define precise permissions throughout your organization by defining who may see what.

Furthermore, paper-based documents are more likely to be misplaced or fall into the wrong hands. In reality, internal data breaches are more prevalent than external data breaches.

Archiving documents removes papers from circulation, reducing the likelihood of a hack or malware infection.

In a competitive environment, archiving documents is critical for company continuity and guaranteeing the greatest level of performance.

4- Enhanced Compliance

Documents preservation is also necessary for legal reasons. Many organizations inadvertently destroy records that they are legally required to retain.

Due to regulatory compliance, certain organizations are obligated to keep archived data for specific periods of time. That’s why archiving benefits are considered important to organizations.

To avoid penalties and fines, organizations should constantly follow laws and industry rules and regulations. Organizations can be in compliance with various standards and regulations if they have a comprehensive archiving and retention plan in place.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are two examples of rules with which companies may be required to comply.

In reality, all businesses and organizations are controlled in some way for record-keeping purposes.

While financial services, energy, and healthcare-related companies are more highly regulated than most other types of organizations, all must comply with record retention standards.

5- Legal claims

In the event that your business is sued by a third party, whether a client, employee, or another firm, you may be asked to produce particular papers to support your case.

This emphasizes the significance of keeping all documents conveniently available and safe in order to protect your company from legal action.

If a company is unable to effectively place a hold on data when it is needed, it may face a number of significant repercussions, ranging from embarrassment to substantial legal charges or fines.

Email and other business documents can be lost in the absence of a comprehensive archiving solution, most commonly due to the unintentional destruction of material that should have been kept.
This might have significant repercussions for a company that is involved in legal action.

6- Audit-proof

An audit entails checking your company’s records to ensure they are correct and is considered the main benefit of archiving.

An archive system is audit-proof when it can assure that a document cannot be changed or lost from the time it enters the archive, through transportation, through final storage, and beyond.

Today’s document management or enterprise content management solutions actively support organizations in establishing audit-proof archiving requirements.

The last thing you want is to need material for a court lawsuit, a tax audit, or after a natural disaster only to learn that your archive storage was compromised.

The Difference Between Archiving & Backup

These two terms are frequently used interchangeably, although they have quite distinct meanings. Both are considered very important to be part of your overall data protection strategy.

If you have ever lost data or had it damaged, a Backup is generally used to recover the original data whereas an archive is a collection of historical data that must be kept for long-term retention purposes, such as compliance.

Backup is the process of ensuring that your data is recoverable in the form of a copy of your current existing active data, which your business will require if data is lost or corrupted under any circumstances. Archives are primarily instances of data that is no longer being used or active and ensure that your data is accessible when needed.

Backup is constantly changing information that is generally kept short term about 3 to 6 months and it is periodically overwritten. Because they are designed for quick recovery, they are not the ideal process for keeping data for the long term.

BackupArchive
RecoverableAccessible
CopyMoved
ChangingInactive
Short teamLong term
table comparing archiving and backup

What Is The Difference Between Records and Archives?

Throughout their active operations, governments and organizations generate and accumulate records. Files and reports, maps, plans, budgets, presentations, marketing materials, and so on are examples. Many of these records are deleted after they are no longer usable for current reasons. Archives are those that have been kept because of their long-term importance.

Archives are collections of records that have been chosen for permanent or long-term preservation due to their cultural, historical, or evidential importance. Records at the end of their lifecycle are either destroyed or archived. Thus, all archives are records, but not all records become archives.

I highly recommend reading the below article for more information about records lifecycle

Records Lifecycle: The Complete Guide – The Number One IM Blog (theecmconsultant.com)

Data Archiving Tools

The benefits and life expectancies of various data archiving techniques and data archiving programs vary. The amount of data being handled is simply one of the factors that will determine the optimal archival data solution for your company.

Archived files are stored depending on their types. Paper documents are usually stored in special cabinets while electronic documents are often archived using a variety of methods, including tape, disk, cloud, and hard drives.

Organizations should select media based on their archiving strategy and budget.

Tape

Tapes have been used for data archiving for a long time. The disadvantage is the time it takes to retrieve data from those cassettes when we need it. However, due to its low cost, it is still employed for long-term archiving and when data is only accessed seldom.

Cloud

Cloud-based archiving combines the power and convenience of local data backup with the scalability and dependability of the cloud to enable long-term data access in a low-cost solution that frequently satisfies regulatory and compliance requirements.

Disk

Data is archived and restored faster on disk than on tape. It is also simpler to seek and discover data on drives.

Hard Drives

Hard drives are the most prevalent sort of storage media, and they’re certainly the first thing that comes to mind when considering how to store a large amount of data. They’re also cost-effective.

FAQ

What archiving means?

Archiving is the process of storing and preserving records, usually in a digital format. It is a systematic way of collecting, storing, and preserving records for future use.

What are the 2 types of archiving?

There are two main types of archives: paper and digital. In a paper archive, documents are stored in the order they were created and in a digital archive they are stored in chronological order.

1 thought on “What is Archiving: Why is it Important?”

  1. Bonjour. Article très intéressant.
    Cependant, je ne partage pas totalement votre avis concernant la partie stipulant que l’archivage concerne les documents inactifs qui ne sont plus utilisés régulièrement. Les documents prennent le caractère archives dès leur création à la seule différence qu’elles sont actives à ce moment.

    Reply

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