The Fundamentals of Electronic Archiving, Part 3 of 3: Planning Across an Enterprise

The Fundamentals of Electronic Archiving: Planning Across an Enterprise
Part 3 of 3 

A well-planned electronic archiving deployment starts with a cross-functional team able to account for the requirements of business, legal and information technology constituencies. By including all constituencies, the enterprise has a better chance of finding that each group can explain the system so all employees understand the reasons for it and the enterprise can implement and enforce it more readily.

Understand archiving is a long term project that requires constant monitoring and revising, however there are critical steps which must be taken regardless of the circumstances:

  • Assess the enterprise’s electronic policies and define processes and procedures that account for worldwide regulation.
  • Evaluate the total document repository size in terms of the number of individual documents rather than in terms of storage capacity.
  • Calculate the rate at which documents must be stored in the archive.
  • Review all vendors that will supply system components and evaluate their services and support.
  • Measure all software platform security levels and the frequency and ease of updating such platforms.
  • Ascertain archiving hardware and software capabilities, both in terms of capacity planning and their ability to evolve over time.

In addition, it is important to enlist a technical team that is able to perform an in-depth analysis of all system components, focusing on indexing and classification infrastructure and assessing performance and ongoing maintenance costs and their current alignment with the underlying policies and practices.T This includes the “query performance” at scale, focusing on how quickly a user will be able to find a document in the entire electronic archive and the capacity of the system to support concurrent queries and retrieval.

Finally, do not allow any single constituency to control the process; rather work with a team to design electronic archiving solutions to be used enterprise wide and for all forms of e-documents, ensuring that the system supports the practices and policies of the enterprise

Although electronic archiving infrastructure might appear complex, expensive and of little business value, it is in reality a cornerstone of proper enterprise governance and a guardian of enterprise memory and intellectual capital. As enterprises produce more electronic information, it is crucial to conserve and protect this intellectual capital. Having such an infrastructure in place will facilitate meeting increasing compliance requirements facing enterprises today. Understanding the challenges of such systems, avoiding common pitfalls and following a strict implementation plan will enable enterprises to successfully elicit both the business and cost benefits of electronic archiving.

** This is the last part in a three-part series which comprise an abridged version of the article “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Electronic Archiving,” written by Daniel Garrie and published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal.