Within companies, digital archive management takes an important role. But how do companies ensure that their archiving processes grow along with the increasing amount of digital documents and files? In this blog post, we discuss 10 conditions you need to meet to keep optimizing and improving your digital archive, with a view to growth and efficiency.
1. Inventory and classification
Inventorying and classifying electronic records is important for the preservation, management, and accessibility of digital information. First, a proper inventory is essential to determine which electronic documents and files are present in the archive. This includes identifying file types, metadata, and the origin of the documents.
Next, careful classification is important to structure and organize the information for efficient use. It is also necessary to consider legal aspects, such as privacy laws and the retention periods of various documents. Successful inventorying and classification improve findability and compliance with archiving standards, which is essential for digital archive preservation and an effective information structure.
2. Retention policy
As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to take into account legal aspects, such as privacy laws and the retention periods of various documents and (personal) files. These policies, also known as retention policies, provide structure and guidelines for retaining and eventually destroying digital information in a careful and legally compliant manner. By complying with these policies, companies can not only comply with legal requirements but also protect privacy and manage records efficiently and conveniently.
With a growing digital archive, scalability is a necessity, so that there is never too little storage space. For example, by working with a cloud solution, extra capacity (processing power, memory, storage space) can be quickly and easily added to meet demand. This results in more flexibility and efficiency, allowing companies to expand quickly to handle the increasing amount of digital information.
Moreover, documents that are no longer needed daily are archived, freeing up primary systems for active documents. By investing in scalable archiving systems, companies can prepare for future growth and technological developments without having to make complete system replacements.
Within a growing digital archive, automation plays an important role. Automation makes it possible, for instance, to accurately and efficiently manage different retention periods for various documents and files. This way, interim control moments are unnecessary, and compliance with laws and regulations is automatically guaranteed. In addition, the archiving process is simplified through automated categorization, placing records in the right folders based on metadata. This not only reduces the risk of human error but also speeds up the archiving process. Through automation, companies improve archiving efficiency while adapting to the growing volume of digital information.
5. Setting access levels
By setting access levels, companies can manage and secure access to archive information. Using access levels means ensuring who is allowed to view, edit, or delete which information. This is very important, especially in situations involving confidential or sensitive information. Companies can assign different access rights based on job roles and responsibilities. This protects information from unauthorized access and ensures compliance with privacy laws and security regulations. Fine-tuning access rights contributes to the security and reliability of the digital archive, which is essential for successful records management.
6. Optimise search functionality
As the size of the archive increases, it becomes increasingly important to find information quickly and efficiently. By improving search functionality, users search more accurately and quickly for specific documents, files, or data within the archive. This is done by applying metadata, keywords, and filters to documents and files.
7. Version management
Versioning allows you to always return to the original version of the file or document, even after numerous modifications and updates. This guarantees the reliability of digital information. Each modification is carefully tracked, allowing users to follow the full 'history'. The ability to look back to the original version not only provides a sense of control, but also reinforces compliance with regulations and quality standards, and the ability to correct any errors without losing crucial data.
The security of your data is the highest priority. It involves measures and processes to ensure the reliability, security, and availability of archive information. This includes access control, which allows only authorized personnel to access archive data, and encryption, which secures data during storage and transfer. This is very important, especially at a time when data security has become a priority and, unfortunately, companies are increasingly exposed to cyber threats.
Regular backups are a very important part of digital archive management. This means copying all digital archive data to a separate storage area to ensure that in case of technical failure or human error, the archive information can be safely restored. But take care! Keep an eye on the retention periods of the copies on a backup as well.
10. Knowledge of employees
Ultimately, all employees of a company must have the necessary knowledge to work effectively with the digital archive. Tip! As a company, you might consider providing internal training or developing a handbook. This way, the digital archive will remain clear and structured, making valuable information accessible to everyone, as long as they have the right access rights.
As you have read, a well-managed digital archive forms the basis for an ever-growing number of records. Would you like to know more about our services around 'digital archiving', or about our in-house developed software solutions, including Virtual Archive and AIR? Then feel free to contact us. Our team is ready to answer your questions and support you.