For many corporate legal departments, data archiving is like chasing a moving target with closed eyes. In today’s information society, how well an organization manages their data can mean the difference between success or failure. According to a data archiving study by IDC and sponsored by Iron Mountain, based on a survey of 1,011 members of senior and executive management, the most successful organizations that have implanted data archiving gain key insights to improve business outcomes. The top 15% of companies surveyed generated more than $10 million in additional revenue as a direct result of mining their data archives. Although the news of success stories has generated considerable interest, few companies have the structure in place to fully manage and monetize their data archives.
The current situation: Archiving is chaos
Although 57% of medium to large businesses maintain six or more electronic archives containing structured and unstructured data, the overwhelming majority lack a consistent approach to archiving. More than 40% of organizations reported they archived everything, lacking the skills to distinguish between important and unimportant data. However, this approach creates “data swamps” – repositories that make information hard to find because it is unclassified and treated inconsistently. As if this doesn’t sound chaotic enough, companies use a range of different archiving approaches to storing unstructured data, ranging from cloud services, backup applications and standalone archiving software tools.