What are maturity models, and should I be using one? - Arkivum

Best practice approaches / 22 Sep, 2021

What are maturity models, and should I be using one?

In a nutshell, a maturity model is a tool designed to assess the effectiveness of your current digital archiving approach and/or processes.

They’re useful in understanding your existing level of maturity (where you are now), against where you want to be and formulating a plan in achieving this level increase. Generally, maturity models consist of several levels and the higher you go, the more mature you are.

They equip you with the knowledge to understand:

  • The practical capacity of your organisation.
  • Your organisation’s goals and missions.
  • The digital assets and data that require archiving.

You can use these tools at any point – whether you’re starting out or have been managing data within a digital archive for several years!

Need inspiration?

There are various models you could look at for inspiration and guidance but the below may be a good starting point.

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance levels of digital preservation (NDSA levels) (more commonly used in the US) is a simple one-page guide with four levels of good practice that covers functional areas of archiving such as storage, integrity, control, metadata and content.

The Digital Preservation Capability and Maturity Model (DPCMM) provides 5 levels of maturity for 13 capability areas that cover all aspects of digital preservation infrastructure and services.

The Digital Preservation Coalition Rapid Assessment Model (DPC RAM) (more commonly used in Europe and Australia) is a new resource from the DPC and builds upon other maturity models including the NDSA levels and DPCMM. DPC RAM is notable by being designed to be simple to use and includes a self-assessment worksheet and graphical analysis

To find out more about maturity models in action or for other insights into a successful data management approach, download our FREE eBook here.


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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