Raise Your Archiving IQ: 2 Misconceptions

The fourth installment in our five-part blog series on how to modernize an e-comms archive.

07 June 2022 6 mins read
by Jennie Clarke

Storing electronic communications (e-comms) data has always been important for businesses, but it’s becoming increasingly complicated. There was a time when email was the primary means of business communication both internally and externally. Whether the exchange was between internal teams and departments, or the company and an external supplier, or the company and a regulatory body, archiving its email communications was enough to retain and ‘save down’ pertinent information for regulatory compliance.

Today, business conversations take place on a wealth of applications and social media platforms. Over 70% of businesses rely on social media for their customer engagement, compared with 61% for email, according to Forbes. Citing a study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Sprout Social, Forbes also said that in just a little over a decade social media has become the most critical means of connecting with customers.

To complicate things further, we have seen senior executives and the rank and file alike use their personal devices as much as corporate-issue computers, phones, and laptops for work-related e-comms. Ever since the global pandemic, there has also been a higher volume of interactions through collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack on a blend of devices.

Compliance teams and records managers now have to contend with capturing and storing data from channels that are constantly emerging and evolving. It’s no wonder there are many misconceptions when it comes to how best to approach improving and updating their archiving solution to keep up.

Two Of The Biggest Misconceptions About Modern Archiving

All organizations, but especially highly regulated ones, need to be able to compete while also staying compliant. They need to store growing volumes of e-comms data and maintain a digital-first archive in the most cost-effective manner. But certain misconceptions can serve as a barrier to achieving those goals.

Here are two common misconceptions in selecting an archive and what you should look for instead.

Misconception 1: To manage an archive effectively, you have to do it on-premise

Many people mistakenly equate on-premise archive solutions with greater control of their data. They think installing the system in their location will make it more secure.

When cloud was relatively new, companies feared many things about the technology because they were unfamiliar with it. Unfortunately those fears have become enduring myths, such as:

• Fear of loss of control over data

• Fear of commingling of data

• Fear of data security or vulnerability

These myths stem from the fact that a cloud-based solution is deployed and managed by a third party (the software provider). However, the degree of security doesn’t depend on the solution’s location (on-premise or cloud) but on the strict enforcement of protocols.

Today, a cloud-based archive is more secure because it’s regularly updated with the latest security tools against hackers and malware. The software provider has a dedicated team whose sole job is to protect the platform, something many companies with on-premise archives don’t have.

A cloud archive offers companies the same level of access to their data, which means they will have the same level of control as an on-premise system. As for privacy concerns, cloud technology has advanced so much that providers are better at preventing data commingling and data leakage. The use of hybrid cloud (combination of public and private clouds) and rigorous security and data separation protocols can prevent the problem.

Misconception 2: To improve your archive, you have to ‘rip and replace’ the entire system

According to Gartner in order to modernize your legacy archive, you’re going to have several options, including whether to rehost, re-architect, rebuild, or replace your system. Each will have its relative appeal based on a proportionate scale of associated costs, risks, and ultimate business benefits.

There is another option however — an incremental approach. It’s safe to assume that like most companies, you want to control costs and risks but gain optimal results. Instead of ripping and replacing your legacy system, consider making smaller but continual improvements.

How? First, don’t look at your legacy system as one that needs to be changed overnight. It’s an asset that you can leverage in your gradual modernization. According to Gartner, in many cases, 20% of the features of an old application or system cause 80% of the friction points. That means 80% of the system is still good. Hence, there’s usually no need to rip and replace.

Second, focus on your most critical pain points and address those first. For example, while the majority of your e-comms used to come via email and the corporate website, they are now also coming from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or perhaps even custom applications that your firm runs. They are arriving fast and furious from different directions, and you’re unable to capture them all effectively.

In this scenario, focus on creating the right infrastructure. Perhaps your email archive works, but it’s not appropriate for other types of e-comms. Don’t get rid of your email archive. Instead, pick an archive platform that can store and manage not only email data but also information from social media, collaboration platforms, and other channels. A robust platform will be able to easily migrate legacy data and connect all types of data, including voice and social media.

Some organizations think a modern e-comms archive is only for large firms with deep pockets. There are also companies that say they’ll just “wing it” with their incumbent archive because it “still works”.

But if you find yourself in either of these camps, you are missing out. A cutting-edge, digital first archive solution will help your organization adapt to an evermore dynamic and varied e-comms landscape, ensure compliance, and increase its readiness for audit and complex or time-bound data requests. An archive with robust built-in analytics tools can also offer you a wealth of information and insights into your organization, customers, suppliers, and other parties that are critical to your future success.

Read related stories:

Raise Your Archiving IQ: 5 Advantages of Cloud Archiving

Whether to migrate from on-premise to a cloud archive is one of the biggest decisions firms are now having to make. The first in our five-part blog series on the fundamentals of a modern archiving strategy.

Raise Your Archiving IQ: 4 Steps to Modernize Your Legacy Archive

The second in our five-part blog series on the fundamentals of a modern archiving strategy.

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Published 07 June 2022

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