Legacy Data

Incredible pace of data growth needs an effective long-term data management plan.

Why is Legacy Data an issue?

The incredible pace of growth in data generated by digital sources is the usual reason for adopting a plan for long-term data management, with around 90% of all data stored typically having been created within the last 24 months.

On the data management continuum, legacy data is a different kind of problem – smaller in scale, but disproportionate in terms of the quantity of issues and risks it creates, especially if the data is subject to any of the regulations which govern particular industries, from GDPR to MiFID II or HIPAA. This is ‘Technology Tail Risk’ where a seemingly minor or hidden factor can incur significant business risks resulting in outages, fines, and the accompanying reputational damage. 

Outdated formats: Data created by software no longer in use in legacy formats which require conversion to make them accessible, or which must be used with a particular software package (vendor lock-in)

End-of-life: Data created by platforms which are no longer supported, presenting a business risk due to use of unsupported software

Storage media: Data stored on storage media which is either no longer supported (e.g. Digital Audio Tape) or which has reached the end of its useful lifespan (NAS)

Unconverted analogue records: Paper or other analogue records requiring some form of digitisation

Of course, no-one actively seeks to accrue risks by deliberately seeking to keep data that isn’t useful or which presents a risk! Most of the time, the organisation simply cannot get rid of the data or the platform creating it. This kind of situation might arise because a business has made acquisitions which from an IT point of view are very difficult to integrate into the firm’s principal IT, or because alternatives are simply unavailable, in the case of vendor lock-in.

What to do?

As is normally the case, the first thing to do is to find out what you have, so at least the size and gravity of the problem may be gauged.

Secondly, you might consider a number of strategies depending on what your circumstances are. These could be one or more of: a programme of digitisation from paper, a massive project to convert legacy formats and re-house the data, or even a decision to risk throwing all the data away.

An investment in future business value

Whatever the decision, Arkivum believes in investing in the future business value of digital assets and records. Knowing what you have is an essential step in understanding what that business value might be.

If legacy data needs to be retained for Compliance or Data Governance purposes, it is especially worthwhile to engage in proper long-term data lifecycle management. Arkivum can help with the execution of long-term data archiving strategies by providing:

100% guaranteed data integrity forever
Exploitability, by making data available as formats evolve
Simplicity by providing a managed service
Accountability via access control and audit trails
Compliance with the highest data governance standards

Get in touch with Arkivum to discuss the technology ‘long tail’, and the long-term plans for the management of your data.