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Archiving data, part 2: Six tips for assessing data for meaningful archiving

Do you know your data to be archived? If not, it is time to assess it. Deep internal and external cooperation is one of the tips Topi Westerholm highlights. What else does he recommend?

Topi Westerholm / April 29, 2022

One of the challenges for choosing the right decommissioning and archiving approach is that organizations do not manage their data properly. Therefore, organizations tend to archive all information from their legacy application and apply the longest possible retention to it.

Read also my first blog: Archiving data, part 1: Decommissioning legacy applications with cloud 

It is something that I do not recommend for a good reason - the organization will be at risk of not being compliant with the laws and regulations, such as GDPR. With well thought-out data management practices, it can be avoided.

Do you know your data?

Before decommissioning legacy systems and archiving the data in a traditional way, or to the cloud as I suggest, any company needs to have information about their data. What types of data do we have? Where is it stored? Who owns it? Are there any personal data? How long does each data object needs to be retained? What information do users need for finding the data? Who can access the data?

Gathering all information depends on the maturity of the company’s data management processes. With proper data management processes in place, it is easy to provide the information as it is documented and available.

Six practical tips for conducting a data assessment

If the opposite is the case and information of data is missing, the company needs to conduct a data assessment to find out what they want and need to archive. I recommend deep internal and external cooperation to do the analysis efficiently and learn for the future.

Here are my tips:

  1. Have a dedicated person managing the assessment in the organization: Business people are particularly important for the assessment, but their everyday work does not involve going through requirements and data characteristics. Their focus usually remains in their normal daily activities and someone in the organization needs to ensure that people are available and give enough attention for the assessment.
  2. Invite an information management or archiving consultant to facilitate and manage the data assessment: Archiving consultants are familiar with different requirements for data archiving and know what data needs to be gathered and how. They can guide companies through the analysis process and ensure a successful outcome.
  3. Conduct the data assessment as early as possible: The sooner companies have all necessary information about the data, the better chance there is for a successful delivery project. An understanding and having information about the legacy data is essential before starting any archiving development or data migration project.
  4. Involve business people and end-users in the assessment: Business usually owns the data and business people most likely utilize and need the data. They should have the best knowledge about data, its ownership and know the relevant archiving related search, retention, and other requirements to be considered in data archiving. Data archives will usually be built for the business.
  5. Involve system providers’ application maintenance teams to the assessment: System providers have all technical experts to dig the relevant information about the data in legacy systems. They have the best knowledge of how the data can be exported from the system for archiving.
  6. Involve the archive provider to the assessment: Although requirements for archiving should always be stated independently from any specific technology, it is useful to involve the archive provider into the discussions during the analysis assessment, especially when initially planning the data export and migration to the archive.

What kind of archiving plans does your organization have?

Me and my colleagues are happy to help you to plan your archiving strategy and offer Tietoevry Archiving as a Service for your everyday archiving needs. It is a next-generation, cloud-based enterprise-wide archiving platform based on the OpenText™ InfoArchive product, compliant archiving both structured and unstructured information.

Whether actively archiving business information to reduce system loads or de-commissioning applications to stand down outdated systems, InfoArchive is the flexible and cost-efficient way to reduce IT costs and accelerate the move to cloud. Users remain effective in their everyday work and can quickly access data and documents in familiar, process and role-specific views. This allows any organization to cost-effectively upgrade to new applications with active data and still keep historical data just a click away. Get in touch!

And if you are interested in data jobs at Tietoevry Create, check out our open positions!

Topi Westerholm
Lead ECM Business Consultant

Topi is an IT consultant who has 20 years of experience in specifying and gathering business requirements from customers for software applications and has led several software delivery projects during his career. Last 10 years he has worked in the enterprise content management area, especially in archiving and is currently responsible for add-on sales, consultancy and archiving deliveries for multiple customers.

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