The Importance of Strategic Data Archiving for Business
When you run a business, data is king. Unfortunately, data grows exponentially. And the bulk of that data should never be stored anywhere indefinitely.
For those who have spent years managing terabytes (or petabytes) of incoming data, the need for data archiving can be a difficult but necessary topic.
This article will delve into the basics of data archiving, explain why it’s critical to any modern business, and show you how you can implement data archiving in your company.
What is Data Archiving?
Data archiving is a process that takes old data and stores it for safekeeping. In some industries, it’s also necessary to keep data for a certain time period. Each industry has its own data archiving practices.
Data archiving is a requirement for many industries. For example, accounting professionals must keep client and financial records for seven years. Records in the healthcare industry must be kept for seven years as well.
Data archiving can be a complicated process. Because many regulations and requirements dictate how long data can be kept, it’s necessary to have a specific plan.
Why is Data Archiving Important
Data archiving is important for organizations of all sizes. It applies mostly to organizations that have a huge database of information. It saves organizations time and money and allows them to access their archived data when the need arises easily.
There are four main benefits of data archiving:
- Cost savings — If your data is not archived, it consumes a lot of server space. As the database grows, the cost to maintain it also increases. Data archiving enables you to reduce the amount of space used on your servers by storing old data. This lets you save costs on storage.
- Data protection — Data archiving provides an additional layer of security for your important data. It allows only authorized users access to your data. With the use of data archiving software, you protect your data from unwanted access.
- Compliance with regulations — Data archiving allows organizations to comply with the regulations that their organization is mandated to follow.
- Accessibility: Data archiving not only protects organizations from data loss but also allows them to access their data when they need it. Once archived, data is easily searchable and sortable. This makes it easy to access the data you need to run your business.
Data Archiving Best Practices
Data archiving has many benefits if you implement it correctly. These best practices are outlined to help you better understand how to implement data archiving in your organization properly.
1. Create a Data Retention Policy
Creating a data retention policy is important in your data archiving process.
The policy should fully describe your data retention needs and any limitations your policy puts on it. For example, you should use only archive data that you no longer need to keep. Archiving data that you no longer need helps eliminate unnecessary costs.
The policy should be reviewed periodically, for example, after your fiscal year-end. An internal audit can help you ensure your policy is still up to date.
2. Document Data Archiving
It’s important to document the archiving process for compliance purposes. Your data archives are an important part of your company’s compliance. Documenting the archiving process for all records can help improve your company’s ability to meet compliance.
Documenting the process of archiving your data can also assist you in the event of litigation. If a court requests documentation regarding your data archiving process, you’ll have it prepared in advance.
You want to include information about the archiving process, such as the software used, details around the process, and information about the nature of the data.
3. Implement Archiving Solutions
Implementing an archiving solution has a number of benefits. The first is automating your data archiving process.
Archiving software allows you to automate data archiving operations. This means you can automate the archiving of multiple types of content with email archiving, file archiving, web archiving, and other similar solutions.
Another benefit of archiving solutions is time savings. Archiving software can take a huge amount of time out of your IT department’s workflow, and archiving solutions can help free up some of that time.
4. Maintain Your Archives
Maintaining your files is just as important as archiving them.
All compliance regulations require you to maintain records for a certain number of years. This data retention period can be as long as ten years.
As long as you maintain your archives, you will be able to meet any compliance regulations.
Maintaining your archives means updating your records regularly. This will ensure you always meet compliance.
5. Monitor Your Archiving Performance
Monitoring your archiving efforts will help with your compliance efforts, as well. It will give you an idea of how successful your archiving efforts are.
Additionally, monitoring your performance can help you identify any weak points that can be improved. Monitoring your performance can be ongoing or can be periodic. For example, you may want to monitor it during the fiscal year-end.
Archiving data has a lot of benefits. This includes not only compliance but also improved functionality.
By implementing the above five best practices, you can increase the effectiveness of your data archiving efforts.