The importance of archiving

Archiving is a records and data management process where inactive information, no matter what format it exists in, is stored in a secure manner for a long period of time. When data is archived, it is rarely brought back out again unless the files are needed for important business. Most files that are archived are put away until the end of their retention time – this is, the time that a company is legally required to hold onto the paper copy of a file.

As briefly mentioned above, inactive data that has been archived can be made active again. When data is archived it does not become inaccessible. Information should still be readily available if required by the company. When companies archive their data, they tend to archive entire collections of files rather than a few files at a time. Archiving, itself, suggests the retention of multiple data records.

As a company grows it creates more data, and this data needs to be methodically managed in order for it be properly used. Data that is not archived is much harder to locate and keep secure. Data kept on company computers or in company file rooms get easy be lost, misplaced, or misused, and this will eventually have a negative effect on the company’s functions and productivity.

There are several major benefits in archiving your company’s data, including the following:

The prevention of data loss

Information that hasn’t been archived or properly stored could easily be lost forever. The chances of an individual in the company destroying/deleting or misplacing a file (whether it’s a hard copy or a soft copy) may be slim, but it does happen on occasion. In some cases, data recovery experts or programs might be able to retrieve this information, but this is likely to take some time, and the data recovered may not be the same as the data that you lost. In the case of misplaced paper files, there is no recovery method. Once paperwork is gone, it’s gone for good.

Legality

Archiving is important for lawful reasons too. Many businesses accidentally dispose of documents that they legally should be keeping for a number of years, even if they feel it’s irrelevant. An effective and efficient archiving system will be able to ensure a company’s retention schedule is adhered to.



With the new laws in GDPR, personal data protection
, and privacy policy changes, data protection authorities are enforcing much more severe penalties on companies that lose or misuse their client’s data. Employees should be made aware that ignoring these policies could lead to large fines or perhaps worse repercussions.

Security

Archiving is also vital when it comes to keeping your company’s data secure. In our modern world, cyber-attacks and data breaches are all too common. By archiving your company’s documents in a secure location, your company can keep track of all of its information, while increasing the protection of your data from unauthorised third parties.

Remember that even paper records can easily be walked out of an office. Archiving your document and storing paperwork off-site will help prevent this.

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