Many businesses accumulate important documentation that is important and should not be disposed of. Such files may be needed for future reference or may even have to be retained for regulatory compliance. There are also requirements for organisations to keep a trail of business documents for revenue purposes. Archiving is concerned with taking files that are no longer actively used and moving them to storage for long-term retention. In order that these files are easy to retrieve, archives should be indexed and searchable. With authorised multiple user access, indexed archived files can save time and effort.
When transferring data between business systems, traditionally ‘data migration’ has been carried out – where data is exported out of one system and imported back into another. This can lead to missing data when it is re-imported. By archiving the data, the process ensures that the original data will still be available and reusable as long as is deemed necessary – so that there is never an issue with data being misplaced.
Paper documents often deteriorate over time. When data is stored electronically it is much easier to access and retrieve. Organisations often move between different business systems and software as they progress over time, and data needs to be seamlessly transferred to newer systems. Electronic data can easily be passed between different systems, as opposed to physical data which needs to be manually processed which in turn can lead to errors. Electronic data is always available on demand, can be accessed and used by any authorized individual in an organization, at any time. In addition, there is no ambiguity as to where the data is stored. In contrast, a paper document is often passed around between stakeholders, and can be easy to misplace.