Digital Preservation And The Dangers Of Rapid Technological Advances


The abundance of data and the need for its continuous archiving has become an everyday task for most entities. This movement has been set forth from a safety, historical and most importantly a compliance adherent perspective. But just how safe and anti-corrosive are our technological counterparts?

Having a good content management strategy nowadays is more important than ever, what with all the tons of information going in and out of our servers daily, some of which being irreplaceable to us or our clients.

At the same time, the biggest amounts of data aren’t the one that we generally need to access in varying short time frames, it’s usually the type of data that we want to be stored for historical or generally value inducing reasons. This is because that kind of information keeps building up over the years as each year today’s data is tomorrows news in this ever expanding and viciously fast moving world.

It’s understandable that proper file archiving solutions and general strategic points should be put in place in any type of facility that deals in such an industry.

Do you even migrate?

Generally, as previously mentioned, new technology arises constantly as time moves on, but what does this mean for data storage?

Bluntly put it means new formats, new types of compression, new software/hardware to run & generally fewer headaches, if you’ve been up to date. But what happens if you haven’t? Companies are now finding out that putting off their migration of older formats from tapes, film, archaic hardware etc. Is proving a lot more difficult to pull off a few years later rather than when it should have been done a while back.

The hardware has been most of the time neglected and is failing, format types in some places don’t even have software that would allow proper migration or conversion to their newer counterparts, experts that were previously abundant for such technologies are now rare and in between. This is a strategic mishap and one that enterprise-level establishments pay for dearly as we are about to discuss.

Status report

The daily meeting comes along, there’s a red notice from Finance asking management to explain why there is such a high cost for the migration task. The Team Lead hasn’t read it before and is baffled to find out that it will cost the company not only a small fortune but the reputational impact of having a very good chance of not being able to get back very valuable information back at all.

This does not only impact the company financially but it shakes the trust in their clients for not being able to provide the type of stability they previously offered. Everything looks dire, but there are ways to avoid this altogether.

Prepare and avoid

By assessing the type of business your company runs, the longevity metrics of the data that needs to be stored and the critical impact in case of loss should give the required parameter for establishing a good content management strategy, choosing the correct type of technology to use (digital is not always the way) and circumvent any future financial or reputational damage.