Digital Archiving

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Digital archiving is clearly the standard in data storage today. The advantages include efficient operations, readily available information, and considerably fewer headaches. While the risk of loss is in fact little different between fire and water damage on the one hand, and failed hardware and corrupted software on the other, the pluses far outweigh the minuses. There's very little, in fact, to say against it.

Digital Archiving Systems FAQ

It's true enough that the technology is indeed complex from an engineering standpoint. At the same time, though, it's easy to operate and maintain. The key to a sound digital archiving system is effective planning up front and regularly scheduled back-ups along the way. Rows of metal file cabinets crammed full of paper documents might be slipping gradually into memory, but the need for logical organization and effective tracking is greater than ever.

The hardware component of the process includes any number of options. Two fundamental ideas are common to all of them. One is duplication--that is, archiving data in more than one place in more than one media. The second is identification--that is, making the data easy to identify and access, whether by indexing or file nomenclature. Metadata indexing is the concept that drives any efficient information system. What the term refers to is the criteria used to identify the document or file. Standard criteria include the document name, creation date, description, key words, file type, author, and status.

Depending on the size of an organization and the volume of information, one digital archiving application over the other might make more sense. Large organizations require a full IT department. If you're a smaller business, though, what you want is a system that the average computer user can handle, and perhaps keep an IT expert on call for annual maintenance and data turnovers.

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