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Is Your Strategy (or Lack Thereof) For Long-Term Digital Information Putting Your Organization at Risk?

In our previous look inside The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark, we saw that many of the options organizations are using to store long-term digital records and information are inadequate to ensure preservation and accessibility long into the future. Today, we explore the gap between practitioners’ awareness of the threat and steps their organizations are taking to protect digital information. The data reported here are from quantitative, survey-based research conducted by the IGI in Spring 2016.

Why aren’t organizations doing more to protect their digital information assets? Awareness of the problem is very high—97 percent. Yet, many are failing to take definitive action to ensure that their critical information assets are protected and accessible over the long term.

We asked practitioners what their organizations were doing to address the unique challenge of safeguarding their long-term digital records and information and to select all that applied. While it is good news to see that 44 percent are currently considering what to do (as the infographic shows), only 16 percent report that they are transferring data to a standards-based digital preservation system. Further, nearly a third of our respondents (31 percent), report that their organizations do not have a comprehensive approach.

Sixteen percent report postponing action until it is required—a risky strategy. As discussed previously, if you delay the steps necessary to safeguard your information from the start, degradation, corruption, and obsolescence can happen in the meantime. You may find when you need digital records and information they are not fully intact or that the costs (time, money, and technical resources) nGovernance of Long-Term DIgital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmarkecessary to access and read them are prohibitively high.

Finally, a third of respondents report that they are converting official records to a common file type (e.g. PDF, TXT, or CSV). While this approach might seem to work, for now, for certain types of documents, there is also the risk that the chosen file format itself might become obsolete. If you adopt a strategy of converting once (especially if you do not also retain the original format), yo
u also risk losing your vital information should such obsolescence occur. To be effective, digital preservation needs to be an active process. In addition, these simplified formats do not really work for certain content. You can’t preserve multimedia files (images, video, and audio, for example) this way. Further, other content, like websites, emails, spreadsheets, slide presentations, and maps, for example, lose their interactivity, context, and inherent value when saved this way.

Get your copy of The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark.

IGI Supporter, Preservica, has enabled us to make the full Benchmark available for immediate download at no cost.

There are two ways to get the Benchmark:

  1. Download from Preservica.
  2. Existing IGI Community Members can find it in the Community here. Not a member, yet? Join today.

Join us for an online event with Preservica to discuss the key findings of the Benchmark on June 8th, 2016 at 11:00 AM EST, 4:00 PM UK. Register today.

 
Goverance of Long-Term Digital Information

Is Your Archiving Strategy Broken? Our New Benchmark Shows that Most Organizations are Making Poor Choices for Protecting Long-Term Digital Information

Governance of Long-Term DIgital Information: An IGI 2016 BenchmarkIn our previous look inside The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark, we saw that most practitioners (98 percent) reported that their organizations keep or need to keep digital information long term (more than 10 years). Today, we explore where organizations are keeping that information. What we find is that often the options they choose put their information at risk of not being accessible in the future. The data reported here are from quantitative, survey-based research conducted by the IGI in Spring 2016.

According to our research, most organizations are not storing their long-term digital assets in a manner sufficient to ensure their long-term protection and accessibility. In fact, the top method is shared network drives. This option, like a number of the others listed (including ECM and EDRMS), even with additional backup or archiving, provides no inherent capability to address the unique requirements of this class of information. This exposes the organization to the risk of not being able to read and use these digital information assets in the future, for example, if your organization no longer supports or licenses a particular application or the file format becomes obsolete. In addition, shared network drives are notoriously insecure and nearly impossible to govern well, further exposing these assets to accidental or malicious tampering and deletion.

Organizations should seek out technological solutions that are purpose-built for the unique requirements of long-term protection and access. Unfortunately today, only a small percentage of organizations (11 percent) are employing these systems, putting vast swaths of critical information across the globe at risk.

Get your copy of The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark.

IGI Supporter, Preservica, has enabled us to make the full Benchmark available for immediate download at no cost. There are two ways to get the Benchmark:

  1. Download from Preservica.
  2.  Existing IGI Community Members can find it in the Community here. Not a member, yet? Join today.

Join us for an online event with Preservica to discuss the key findings of the Benchmark on June 8th, 2016 at 11:00 AM EST, 4:00 PM UK. Register today.

 
Digital Preservation Benchmark

Is Your Long-Term Digital Information at Risk?–Take a Look Inside the IGI’s New Benchmark To Learn Why It Is and What You Can Do To Protect It

Today, much of the information we create is born digital. Because most organizations keep digital information long term for various, business-critical reasons, they need to integrate digital preservation into their information governance (IG) strategies to make sure that information is protected and accessible into the future, or they risk not having that information available when it is needed.

In this look inside The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark, we explore how many organizations keep digital information long term and their reasons for doing so. The data are from quantitative, survey-based research conducted by the IGI in Spring 2016.

Governance of Long-Term DIgital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark

As part of our survey, we asked practitioners whether or not their organizations had digital records and information they keep or need to keep in excess of 10 years. As the infographic shows, an overwhelming majority of respondents (98 percent) reported that they do.

What are the digital records and information that organizations keep? We asked practitioners to tell us the reasons why they are keeping digital records and information for more than 10 years and to select all that applied. As the infographic shows, most organizations are keeping them for a range of important reasons (e.g., six of the responses were selected by over half of respondents). “Statutory, Regulatory, and/or Legal Obligations” led the way as the most common response (89 percent). This is consistent with other research by the IGI that shows reducing or responding to outside risks are common drivers of organizations’ IG policies. Indeed, these may be drivers behind a number of the options practitioners selected, here, for why their organizations keep digital records and information long term.

But a number of the reasons organizations say they are keeping digital records and information long term may have another side to them—regardless of whether organizations have to keep them, those digital information assets are likely to be important to the day-to-day functioning of the organization, too. “Human Resources/Personnel Requirements,” “Contracts,” “Corporate or Institutional Governance” were each selected by more than half of respondents and “Business Operations” by more than 40 percent, for example.

Regardless of the reason, digital assets should be considered business-critical, warranting formal steps to ensure that they are findable, readable, usable, and trustworthy long into the future. To do that requires a commitment to providing long-term protection and access as an inherent and critical part of an overall IG program.

Get your copy of The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark.
IGI Supporter, Preservica, has enabled us to make the full Benchmark available for immediate download at no cost.

There are two ways to get the Benchmark:

  1. Download from Preservica.
  2. Existing IGI Community Members can find it in the Community here. Not a member, yet? Join today.

Join us for an online event with Preservica to discuss the key findings of the Benchmark on June 8th, 2016 at 11:00 AM EST, 4:00 PM UK. Register today.

 

Attending MER 2016? Check Out the IGI Speaker Lineup

Members of the IGI’s Executive Team, Barclay T. Blair, Jason R. Baron, and Bennett B. Borden, are speaking at the Managing Electronic Records (MER) Conference May 23rd to May 25, 2016 in Chicago. Check out the lineup below and attend these informative sessions. Not registered for MER? There is still time.

Sessions with the IGI Executive Team:

Major Changes Are Ahead for IG. What Are They? What Will Be Their Impact?

  • Session 1
  • Monday, May 23, 2016
  • 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Barclay T. Blair, IGI’s Executive Director, opens the conference with a panel discussion on what the future holds for information governance. He is joined by experts Kon Leong, Stephen Ludlow, and James Watson, PhD.

Seeing The Trees In The Forest: TAR (Technology Assisted Review) For Lawyers And Information Governance Professionals

  • Session 13
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016
  • 8:30 AM to 09:30 AM

Bennett B. Borden, IGI Co-Chair, will look at what lawyers and IG professionals need to know about Technology Assisted Review (TAR) or risk going extinct in their field of expertise.

Integrating Digital Preservation Capabilities Into Information Governance

  • Session 25
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016
  • 2:00 PM to 03:00 PM

Barclay joins Lori Ashley and Martin Springell to discuss the importance of digital preservation in an organization's overall IG strategy and how organizations can get started. Barclay will present insights from IGI’s recently released, The Governance of Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark. Read more here and download your copy.

The Presidential Directive On Managing Electronic Records: Is Your Agency “On The Train” Or “On The Platform” Or Not Even At The Station?

  • Session 28
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016
  • 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Jason R. Baron, IGI Co-Chair, and Donna Read will discuss the Presidential Directive on Managing Electronic Records, and help you answer the question, “Are you ready?”

Attend these, and other great sessions, at MER 2016. Review the full program, including the pre-conference, here.

There is still time to register for the Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO) Summit, May 25-26, 2016 in Chicago. The CIGO Summit is a by-invitation-only executive event for senior leaders in cybersecurity, information management, law, privacy, data analytics, records management, compliance, and other IG-related disciplines. We held the first CIGO Summit in 2015, an event one global IG executive called, “the single most important industry event I have yet attended.” Register here.

The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: An IGI 2016 Benchmark: Have you downloaded your free copy. Our new Benchmark reveals that most organizations cannot ensure protection and access for critical long-term digital information despite accelerating legal and business requirements. It also calls for immediate action and provides insight and guidance to help organizations achieve compliance.

 
Digital Preservation Benchmark

IGI’s New Industry Benchmark Exposes the Grave Threat to Information Over the Long Term

Our new Benchmark reveals that most organizations cannot ensure protection and access for critical long-term digital information despite accelerating legal and business requirements. It also calls for immediate action and provides insight and guidance to help organizations achieve compliance.

Our research reveals that the majority of organizations do not have a coherent long-term strategy for their vital digital information even though virtually all of them (98%) are required to keep information for ten years or longer. Further, while 97% of information professionals understand the need for a specialized approach to these assets, only 11% are storing them in systems specifically designed to ensure long-term protection and access. This gap has societal, economic, and legal implications.

Our research, supported by Preservica, provides a new benchmark for organizations to evaluate their capability and outlines tactics for closing this critical gap. It also reports on how leading organizations like Associated Press, HSBC, and the State of Texas have addressed this challenge.

The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information: IGI 2016 Benchmark also reveals that IG professionals charged with addressing this problem are highly aware (97%) of the unique challenge of opening, using, and relying upon digital files over the long-term. Namely, that accelerating innovation and technology refresh rates mean that software and hardware can be obsolete, making the information unusable, long before an organization’s legal need or business requirement to keep and use that information expires.

However, most organizations appear to lack a coherent strategy to solve this problem. An alarming majority of organizations (68%), for example, rely on shared network drives to store these assets, a technology that offers no inherent capabilities to protect or ensure access over the long-term.

“Every day it becomes easier and cheaper to store digital information,” said Barclay T. Blair, executive director and founder of IGI. “But every day we also see an intensification of global legal and business obligations to protect and provide long-term access to these critical assets. Our Benchmark shows that virtually every organization large and small across industry verticals faces this problem, but awareness of how to solve it is low. This concerns us.”

Preservica’s support has enabled the IGI to make the full Benchmark available for immediate download at no cost.

There are two ways to get the Benchmark:

1.       Download from Preservica.

2.       Existing IGI Community Members can find it in the Community here.

Also, we are holding an online event with Preservica to discuss the key findings of the Benchmark on June 8th at 11am EST, 4pm UK. Register today.