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Archiving in the Technological Era


Data retention has long been a vital business practice, allowing companies to use client information, assess company growth, and retrieve and manipulate data on past performance, all with the goal of propelling business growth and success. A number of factors contribute to a company’s need to retain data, such as future analyses of business processes and compliance with government regulations that continue to lay out stricter requirements regarding the retention, disclosure and disposal of business data. The technological era has brought about a proliferation of electronic file data, spurring revolutionary change in the way data is collected, retrieved, archived and disclosed.

Businesses are faced with the challenge of adhering to varying data retention requirements at the federal and state levels. Many recent laws have increased the length of time that businesses must retain data, placing increasing pressure on companies to institute data archiving systems with the capacity to securely store increasing amounts of information, possibly for decades. Besides placing time requirements on data retention, regulations also require that data be secure, unable to be edited and produced on demand with short notice. To ensure security and that records are retained in a non-editable format, organizations must have an archiving system separate from the operational and reference data that is still needed for frequent business transactions and queries.

Some notable sanctions propelling the need for businesses to implement a comprehensive data retention system are the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and BASEL II. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which imposes strict standards regarding the retention of accounting data, was overwhelmingly passed in 2002 by the United States House of Representatives and the Senate. HIPAA, commonly known as the Privacy Rule, is a health industry standard aimed at allowing the flow of patients’ health data for health research purposes without disclosing an individual’s “protected health information,” and requiring entities to preserve and be prepared to readily disclose data for six years. Similarly, BASEL II places disclosure requirements on the financial industry.

Ever increasing data retention requirements also place monumental pressure on enterprise data availability software companies to produce the most advanced archiving solutions with tremendous capacities and prolonged reliability. Available data archiving solutions give companies the capability of storing great amounts of data that is no longer needed for business purposes in a protected, non-editable format in a location that will not affect the data that is crucial to business operations. Such systems can provide a user friendly interface to streamline implementation of a company’s data archiving strategy, and automatically discard information once it reached the mandatory data retention time frame.

Submitted by:

Stephen J. Richards

Stephen J. Richards has 25 years experience in Data Management and Information Technology. This information is provided as a public service by Neon Enterprise Software, a leading provider of data retention products. For more information, please visit http://www.neonesoft.com





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