Making the archive a competitive advantage
- 21 June, 2019 10:01
Organisations collect more data than they can handle. According to Gartner: “On the one hand, we have an abundance of data and information available to us, and on the other hand, we lack the culture and human capabilities to properly collect, analyse and manage data.” Further, more than 87 per cent of organisations are classified as having low business intelligence (BI) and analytics maturity.
The figures aren’t really surprising given the volume of data being produced. For example, organisations are sold on the idea of collecting social media data, but consider that, in every minute of every day, 456,000 tweets are sent on Twitter, 46,740 photos are posted on Instagram, and 4,146,600 videos are watched on YouTube, according to Forbes.
The problem is two-fold: Not only do businesses struggle with the collection and analysis of data, however, they also need to deal with an escalating archiving challenge. For instance, the number of organisations that don’t have an email retention policy is 38 per cent. Yet 74 per cent of organisations will be legally required at some stage to produce employee email. As such, there are many organisations that won’t be able to meet basic regulatory requirements, much less the increasingly complex range of data they might need to archive into the future.
Archiving is not backup
Many organisations fail to make the distinction between backup and archiving. A backup is a copy of a set of current and active data that can be used for operational recovery in the event that the original data is lost or corrupted. Its purpose is to restore data to a (usually) recent point of time. An archive is a collection of historical records that are kept for future reference.
Because these two examples of data are so different, they need to be approached differently, and create different pain points for businesses.
Challenges associated include:
- Regulation and compliance: This is the big one. Organisations need to retain all instances of certain data (such as records, invoices, emails, and other important documents) for a certain length of time (which can vary from one sector to the next).
- The scale of data needing to be archived: The length of time that data needs to be archived means the archives themselves can become very large.
- Centralisation of data archives: It’s important that all data is moved into a single, centralised archive however finding the right technology to achieve this can be a challenge as there are so many sources of data in each organisation, and each department and employee interacts with the data in a different way.
- The classification of data: The ability to properly classify data so that it’s easily searchable is critical in making archiving, and the process of extracting data from the archives, efficient. With so much data coming into the organisation, however, it’s difficult to manually classify and file each individual piece of data to an archive. Robust automation for classification is essential, however automation can be ineffective if it doesn’t classify data across enough useful and specific parameters.
Finding the right archiving solution leads to competitive advantage
With the right solution, archiving becomes much more than a way to meet legal and regulatory compliance.
For example, long-term consumer trends and shifts in attitude can be tracked through social media, but only if enough quality data is collected and archived over a long period of time. The trends that emerge in doing so can be instrumental in shaping new product development or, at the other end of the spectrum, be used in developing the tone and design of promotional campaigns.
If, however, the archiving solution is not adequately searchable, lacks centralisation, and isn’t a highly secure repository of data, then the ability to accurately track these long-term trends and developments is limited.
Micro Focus offers an archiving solution that has been structured around meeting next generation archiving needs, with a feature set that provides:
- leading security with protective measures including encryption, VPN tunnels, and multi-level authentication
- the ability to recognise data in-line with retention policies and archive it, so nothing is missed
- the ability to index and search through archived data, as well as enable targeting analysis across all data repositories. This can be leveraged to provide competitive insights to the organisation
- efficiency in automatically identifying and classifying redundant, obsolete and trivial data, minimising the size of the archive, as well as the speed of data retrieval
- the ability to access the archive as a cloud service
- the ability to archive video, audio, unstructured and structured data
- self-directed archiving, which lets the organisation set up user access in a way that employees can securely search and retrieve data as needed, freeing up administrators and the IT team to do value-added tasks.
With the right solution, archiving can lead the data-focused strategy that many organisations have in looking for competitive advantage.
For more information on the Micro Focus archiving solutions, visit:
To speak with someone about your archiving requirements, please contact:
New Zealand Country Manager, Lachlan Downing -
Micro Focus Distribution partner, Felix Nduaguba -