There’s a maturity model called the ‘three-legged stool’? - Arkivum

Best practice approaches / 22 Sep, 2021

There’s a maturity model called the ‘three-legged stool’?

There’s a maturity model called the ‘three-legged stool’?

Following on from our previous post regarding maturity models, I’d now like to bring the three-legged stool model into the archiving picture.

This model looks at three components which must be considered in tandem if your organisation is to achieve a successful and sustainable approach to digital preservation.

These three ‘legs’ comprise of technology, organisation and resources. This model demonstrates that without the consideration and maintenance of these three elements, a digital preservation programme will ultimately collapse. It is therefore a balancing act to ensure that the correct provision and attention is directed towards each element – or leg of the stool.

Breaking down the elements

The technology leg represents the necessary hardware, software and secure environments required. What should you consider?

  • Storage and back-up
  • Repository and preservation systems
  • Security measures

The organisation leg of the stool looks at the elements required to address the organisational needs and can help drive the organisational change required for a successful digital preservation approach. What should you consider?

  • Policy and strategy
  • Workflows
  • Risk registers & benefits models

The resources leg looks at the time, money and people requirements. These are the resources necessary to create and maintain a sustainable programme and can include:

  • Business planning
  • Funding
  • Staff skills
  • An organisational commitment to sustainability

Other than the three-legged stool model, there are many more to choose from. (we’ve detailed a few here).

For further insight to aid or improve your digital archiving efforts, download our free eBook now!



Anne R. Kenney and Nancy Y. McGovern, “The Five Organizational Stages of Digital Preservation,” in Digital Libraries: A Vision for the Twenty-first Century, a festschrift to honor Wendy Lougee, 2003. Available from the University of Michigan Scholarly Monograph Series website.

Harriet Clark

Harriet is the Content Marketing Manager at Arkivum and joined the business in 2021. She is responsible for the creation of all marketing and sales content. Harriet is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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