In 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.
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