Published on August 21st, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan


How Digital Preservation And Compliance Can Ensure Your Business’ Long-Term Survival

In 2020, the survival of many businesses hinged on their capability to take to online spaces, and carry on their trade there. This resulted in 17 percent of global retail revenue being taken up by e-commerce last year, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. This unprecedented surge in online commerce made it clear to business experts just how important it is that digital-enabled businesses preserve their virtual aspects. Gone are the days when short-term affairs like SEO and marketing were a business’ primary concerns. Now, companies are advised to look to the future, and prepare for eventualities wherein the digital heart of their operations might be compromised.

Why digital preservation and compliance is so vital to modern business

Now that a large chunk of commerce operates primarily on the internet, certain safety measures are called for in order to preserve the integrity of business-critical information. Digital spaces such as the cloud have been vital to the relatively worry-free expansion of businesses, but dependence on them can have consequences. That’s why interest in digital preservation methods, such as physical backups and archiving, has accelerated in the previous months.

In the past, the most prevalent method of digital preservation came in the form of web archives such as the Wayback Machine. These solutions captured completely lifelike replicas of a website at a certain time, which can be interacted with as though one were doing so during that time. The Wayback Machine only accesses publicly available pages, but many iterations of the crawl technology that powers it have been developed by archive service providers. Within closed networks such as corporations, perfect records of past web content are invaluable These replicas cannot be tampered with and are always time-stamped, making them fitting for regulatory compliance. They also serve as strong evidence against false claims thanks to their pristine content. Beyond legal affairs however, having a robust archive can serve as an inexhaustible resource for learning and training personnel, as well as a knowledge base for planning out future strategies.

What you risk by opting out of data preservation

Digital fragility is a novel concept, coined within this new paradigm of cloud-based commerce. It points to the critical danger of over-reliance on tech to serve as the platform for one’s business. If that tech should fail, the business goes down with it. This is what businesses risk by forgoing digital preservation. Digital assets can fail in numerous ways, from link breakage to content obsolescence. Even if business tech failures end up being relatively minor, a wise entrepreneur would know that small hiccups like that pile up, and that one should strive to keep the content-to-customer interface as smooth as possible.

The importance of digital preservation applies especially to businesses who keep customer-specific data on their servers. Losing massive amounts of data will likely compel much of your client base to leave, hamstringing your revenue. Processes dependent on internal data will grind to a halt, and data security will be rendered inactive. Vast swathes of the business can succumb to numerous data-related consequences, which can potentially spell the undoing of the company as a whole. According to experts at digital preservation solutions are usually highly rated by large media corporations, educational institutions, and even government agencies, so you can be sure of the integrity of the information they archive.

Early adoption gets you in on the ground floor of digital preservation tech

While it is by no means new, digital preservation and compliance solutions are expected to trend steeply upwards in terms of technological development and necessity. Soon, current archiving techniques might not be enough to meet the growing demands of always-online businesses. In light of that, it would be prudent to gain access to this technology before demand makes it difficult to do so. Aside from getting ahead of any barriers that might come up in the future, adopting digital preservation as early as possible also lets you access state-of-the-art preservation tech sooner, giving you an edge over competitors.

Businesses are beginning to realize the error in focusing too much on the short-term usage of data for business processes, and are now redirecting efforts to maximize information longevity. Current eye-readability targets reach up to half a millennium, and that is liable to increase as companies grow to levels where they expect the lifetime of their data’s relevancy to extend even further. While this may seem excessive at present, the promise of over 500 years of data accessibility attests to the integrity of the data contained within the archive. Even in the span of several lifetimes, one could access business-critical information, completely untouched by corruption and data loss.

Digital preservation and compliance may very well be the current best way to “future-proof” your business, at least in terms of data. This may seem like a frivolity to some, but as commerce moves more and more to the virtual space, it becomes a lot easier for a company to be crippled by something as mundane as a server crash. Contingencies are a natural part of defending against failure, and digital preservation serves as the times’ prime example of a dependable contingency.

Cover Photo by Arlington Research on Unsplash

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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