How to Choose the Right File Archiving Solution 

Choosing the right archiving software is critical to improving e-discovery and compliance.

“If archiving is poorly performed, organizations can find themselves spending tens of thousands of dollars on data retrieval or motion practice to provide evidence that these archives are ‘not reasonably accessible’,” explains Philadelphia-based attorney Jana Landon, co-chair of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP’s data breach response and cyber insurance teams, and co-founder/chair of its e-discovery team.

To keep that from happening, review these key considerations for moving enterprise information archiving to the cloud. 

  1. Go beyond the usual suspects. It’s tempting to limit the scope of inquiries to conventional compliance or legal risk mitigation use cases. They’re prerequisites. But since today’s cloud archiving platforms dramatically transform productivity, collaboration, workflow, and mobilization of knowledge workers, their value extends beyond the traditional areas. Check in with production line or product managers in core business units and in the C-suite.
  2. Determine performance requirements. Don’t forget to identify minimum and expected performance requirements within each use case scenario alongside overall business expectations. Does the cloud archiving program have a fast search? Is there a limit on mailboxes? What’s the system’s uptime? And don’t forget to kick the tires on maintenance. Ask vendors to define the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for search speed and maintenance and read the SLA fine print on availability, search speed, etc. Don’t take anything for granted.  
  3. Develop use cases. To create a full picture of what your file archiving software must do, build a use case for each stakeholder who needs access to archive data. For instance, your legal department may need tagging and the capability to export to general counsel, as well as secured off-site access capability. The sales force could want mobile access. Healthcare organizations might have even more specialized use cases related to HIPAA and HITECH compliance.
  4. Estimate costs. Whether you’re moving from an on-premise archive or upgrading your cloud archive, understand what the migration requires in terms of staff time and other resources. This is especially crucial if you’re inheriting archives that have been around for a while, or multiple archives (say, as the result of a merger or acquisition). Decide who will search and export information. If in-house, make sure that person is trained and ready to go. If external, make sure they work regularly your chosen solution. Understanding the operational expense of moving to a cloud system versus the capital expense of maintaining on-premises storage, hardware, and software is key to making the right decision.

Taking these factors into account before you dive into cloud archiving ensures you’ll choose the best solution to meet your organization’s specific needs.

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