January 24, 2018

The Art of Fine Grained Records Management when using Archival Information Packages

Tim Nelms | VP WW Channels & Alliances/International Sales
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Look at any modern archive or enterprise content management system and it will include the concept of an Archival Information Package. In legacy archives the concept of an AIP was usually synonymous with a batch – for example an application might generate a file contain several thousand data records (customer statements) and this package of digital documents would be loaded into the archive in one go. In modern ECM systems AIPs are often smaller units, for example a case file related to specific customer activity that has now concluded.

AIPs are usually treated as whole for archival and records management purposes, so a retention period and disposition date applies to the package and all the records in it. Having said this, certain parts of an archival package may need to be put on hold for legal reasons. Balancing the need for applying common records management and archiving policies across AIPs while having the flexibility to manage individual records is a key challenge for organizations implementing systems that comply with new GDPR guidelines. The evidence of the challenge organisations face was evident in the case of Clydesdale Bank, whose record management practices did not afford the kind of fine grained access to records demanded by regulators. Clydesdale was eventually fined £21m for failures to access information contained in AIPs, but which were not accessible through search tools.

The Open Archive Information System Standard (OAIS) defines how to architect modern archives. At Crawford Technologies we are using OAIS as a model for delivering customer communications archives, but at the same time are building features that make these archives storage efficient and compliant with GDPR requirements to dispose of customer data. Using metrics gathered over many customer projects we know that fine grained archiving records management can increase storage costs by a factor of 20 in many systems. We’re working hard with our content management business partners to ensure that fine grained records management and storage efficiency are not incompatible bedfellows.

To find out more about Crawford Technologies archiving solutions for IBM, OpenText, Alfresco and SharePoint follow these links.

IBM solutions

Alfresco solutions

OpenText solutions

SharePoint solutions

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