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On the surface, archival solutions may not be as sexy as data security, but in reality, they’re no less essential to the reality of modern business. How did we get here?

 

In the great migration to the cloud, some businesses thought their corporate memories were safe. But cloud providers rely on third-party solutions whose myriad weaknesses can still put you at risk without a sound archival strategy.

 

It’s scary but true: Over 60% of a company’s corporate knowledge lives only in email. Despite the advent of a range of collaboration and sophisticated storage tools, a tremendous amount of ‘corporate memory’ remains at risk and out of reach where it could do the most good within an organization. Much of it is inaccessible; locked up in inboxes. And, email systems are generally not even as safe as one might think.

 

Email is also not the only corporate asset that needs to be archived. So while archival protocols don’t sound nearly as urgent as security protocols, organizations of all shapes and sizes need to start thinking about what their archive is capable of, if there is one in place at all. One thing’s for certain: From law firms to healthcare companies to small businesses, for legal, regulatory or compliance reasons, email archival services have evolved from ‘nice-to-have’ to ‘absolute necessity.’

 

A central repository

The best vision for the world we’re facing is to enable the archiving not just of email, but of any form of object or content type, including simple object types like files all the way to more complex structures, like websites, chat, video and audio. There is no doubt that organizations need a central repository or archive platform that will store all types of data, while providing flexible and easy-to-manage retention policies, and simple ways to extract the required information.

 

Powerful search capability

One of the most important elements of any archive platform are the search capabilities, and they’ll need to get stronger and offer more functionality to keep pace with the oncoming future. They should include semantic-based searching, where documents which refer to the same topic are also provided in a result set. (e.g. if one searches for AWS, documents without the term AWS but have the phrase Amazon Web Services are also present in the search results).

 

Complex file type management

The management of complex file types, like audio and video, will need to become commonplace. The challenge here is how to make it easy for the end users to search for such items. To accomplish this, video and audio files would first be transcribed based on the detected language, and then indexed. This makes it possible to search across archived video audio assets. Imagine having all your company meetings recorded and searchable on-demand.

 

Universal mobile access

Content---all kinds, in all different formats---needs to be accessible via mobile device.  Native integration with Android and iOS via mobile app is no longer an option. Apps should make it simple to search and filter the result set. Result sets then can be exported/shared, viewed or bulk exported. This is what full flexibility looks like.

 

The landscape is changing, and we’re paying attention. It’s all influencing our work as we create Aurea’s roadmap to archival solutions. Stay tuned for more on that as it develops.