Digital Archiving & its Intricate Practices

The days of the Digital Far West have almost wrapped-up. As digital data and documents become the yardstick, regulation around them has jacked up considerably in recent years subsequently. 

At the same time, however, you can’t really be oblivious to the fact that digital archiving is still seen as a burden to the employees. Apart from that, you can also sense that it is also associated with an unavoidable cost. This will be without any direct return for the organization leadership. In general, most employees regard digital archiving as something highly esoteric that only specifically skilled people – records managers and archivists – need to deal with. On the other hand, in reality, you should ensure that it is ranked as the top priorities of many business areas. 

For instance, IT managers are very much concerned with storing information throughout its life-cycle on the most cost-effective platform. If you focus on Compliance Officers, what they need is to have the archives which can be indexed, located, and controlled. Moreover, it should also fulfil the correct retention policies. For the Legal Departments, their priority is to quickly rummage around the historical data to support any kind of legal challenges.

Records Management & digital archiving- Coalition

Electronic Records Management covers the entire process for managing the so-called records. A lot of formal descriptions of records exist, but in an informal way you could describe them as information. The information can pose as an evidence of business transactions. In short: all the documents and data that needs to be archived should be kept for a well-defined period. The reason behind this activity is that, we are legally obliged to do so (contracts, invoices, permits, and so on). Therefore, electronic records management focuses on the proper management of these records, from creation or reception until preservation.

Digital archiving, on the other hand, has its primary focus on the conservation phase. The crux of effective digital archiving lies with a shared understanding and application of the records management best practices by all the employees subsequently. But how to achieve this? 

The following guidelines will facilitate you to lay hands on the holistic records management approach.

Interpolation of Records Management Principles

As a matter of fact, make sure document type classification (e.g. contract, invoice) is a mandatory step/field. This will eliminate the effort required from your knowledge workers to act in accordance with the organization’s records management policies for each type of document in later stages.

To obtain the maximum gain/output from this, each content item should possess well-defined content properties – so-called metadata. Further, the documents’ metadata should render helpful insights to facilitate records management compliance as well as the daily work of knowledge workers.

Effective content structure- Portrayal

In most of the CMS, the content structure depicts a folder structure. You should set up the content structure in such a way that no extra filing effort is needed from the knowledge workers. Efforts will be required to transfer content to the document archival when the content status transforms from active to inactive. Either the document already finds its place in the archival location from the start, or it’s automatically moved to the archives depending on the content properties.

In general, design and application of roles and permissions should cover the needs of content creation, collaboration and records management activities predominantly. Default roles and permissions should be automatically exercised upon content creation to assure suppleness throughout the entire Document and Records Management System. The user permissions need to be acquired from the context, which is often the folder structure and/or properties the content is invoked in.

You should ensure that all the actions executed on the content are automatically logged in audit trails. This will automatically generate reports for the breezy access to all different types of content manipulations, as well as stay in line with Records Management policies and data digitization

Common Stages in a Document’s Life-cycle

Some of the most prosaic stages in a document’s life-cycle are: 

  • Drafting 
  • Review 
  • Approval
  • Distribution
  • Archiving 
  • Data Shredding

The specific set obviously relies on the use case at hand. Likewise, we can see that the content life-cycle includes stages when the content is made use actively by the business for its daily work. In addition, one can also witness the stages when the content has been tucked away to a semi-active or inactive status. 

This designates the vitality of fully integrating records management principles in your enterprise content management system. Efforts has been made to avoid minting a gap between the content’s active and inactive life-cycle phases.


An integrated approach involving all employees is of utmost importance to a cost-effective and compliant information management. On the one hand, you’re offering employees a user-friendly environment for content creation, content collaboration, digitization of documents, and management of content. 

At the same time, you’re ensuring that records management needs are being hit upon by pulling off the apt content structure. The catch being to optimize the balance between both. Ideally, there’s no additional effort required from users, either during content creation, digital scanning, or when proceeding with document archiving.

Therefore, adequate digital archiving is not just an afterthought. A fully confederated holistic records management approach is the virtuous option for a successful user adoption of the best data archiving solution. Whatever be the case, you’re working towards an effective preservation of your digital content in a well-organized, complete digital archive on the go.

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