Archive storage plays a significant role in maintaining information safely over long periods of time.
More specifically, it preserves data that does not get accessed on a regular basis, such as old client records that are still important even if they only needed once every few years.
Think of archive storage like old tax records: you may not need to look at them, but you want to know they’re in a safe location should you ever need them. But to make the best use of archive solutions, the information can’t just be tossed into a digital storage closet.
Any library needs a reference system to store information and to point any user to the exact location of specific information. Similarly, an effective archive solution requires good search options.
Efficient search options allow a user to search for information based on a variety of options such as the name of the original source, by date of usage or system entry, or data structure. Depending on the system, numerous data types could be stored within the archive.
For example suppose an archive stores the information of clients for a painting company. That information could include the client’s name, address for the job, the work dates, and the final contract amount. A good archive solution would allow a search by any of these data types, making locating the record easier.
This flexibility to search by a variety of terms can be vital to the organization. If one search fails, a different search option can help locate the needed information. Other potential search factors can include where the data originally came from, credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank accounts, client referrals, and types of document saved into the archive such as Word documents, PDFs, or e-mails.
Effective archive storage solutions can also help eliminate data redundancies in the system, allowing any user to go directly to the most up-to-date version of the data in question.
A single client work order can be subject to revisions and changes based on the history of the individual job. If an existing work order required alterations based on unexpected challenges, the work order may have been altered to reflect those changes. As such, the original work order would no longer contain the sum total details of the job, but a user searching for that job years after completion might be confused by the existence of two work orders for the same job.
To help maintain record integrity for future searches, archive storage solutions can employ the use of data deduplication features that allow data changes to the work order while providing reference points to the original document. Future users get direct access to both documents and avoid confusion over which document holds the most updated information.
Archive storage solutions can also prevent users from uploading multiple copies of the same document, which can take up storage space and confuse future users who have to spend time trying to figure out why one document got archived five times.
Effective archive storage solutions enable organization to adopt new search and security policies when required.
All historical records require a certain level of auditing and modification, but good automation features can streamline the process. An administrator can schedule the automatic archiving of a month’s data to occur on on a monthly basis. It can also manage which users can access the information. Further, the system can also be updated to provide logs on which users accessed the information, including the date and time – again for greater security.
Automation reduces the amount of time spent creating, auditing, and modifying archives. Good solutions allow you put schedules in place when data is automatically archived. It should also provide logging of these processes and alerts in case of written failure.
Additionally, good archive solutions can control where the information comes from. While the data reference point might be entered by a user with the correct security requirements, the information might be getting to the user by various programs and source locations. Archive solutions can take those information sources into consideration and control which systems can send the data.
To find out more about about good archive storage solutions, click here to find out how e-Docs USA can help.
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