Supreme strategies in long-term preservation of electronic records

Author: Charlie Sodano
An electronic records preservation strategy will facilitate you to make sure that all electronic records are maintained and sustained in an easy to get format as long as a need for those records arrive. The strategy will provide the mechanisms to guarantee that those electronic records of present and continuing future value to the organization are maintained in a way that will both conserve their value and include right access arrangements to them.

Here are certain vital strategies to be taken into consideration for long-term preservation of electronic records.
1. Requirement of electronic records preservation strategy
An electronic records preservation strategy is not required for all electronic records. Only records that are needed for more than 5 years for purposes of business or for their research importance will usually need to be included in the preservation strategy.
2. Methods of electronic record preservation
Emulation and migration are two major common but technological preservation method used, particularly in the short-term.
3. Preservation of electronic records
An effective electronic records preservation strategy will help an institution fulfill its business needs and as an end result will facilitate it to run more efficiently. It is pricier to reproduce records that were not conserved and then subsequently needed than it is to safeguard records that are never compulsory and can be disposed of after a set period of time.
4. Authenticity of the record
It is significant for any organization to be confident that the records it conserves are the same as when they were created. Electronic records needs to be preserved in such a format that will support the record in a format as close to its original as possible and an understanding of the record and its context. As a result preservation measures should be taken as close to the original creation of the record as is possible to ensure that it is done successfully.
5. Drawbacks of preserving electronic records
Problems in preserving electronic records arise from the nature of electronic records themselves and the requirement for specific hardware and software to read them. This means that they are at peril from the ever changing technology in terms of new hardware and software that could have a blow on the openness of the record. Furthermore the pace of changes in the digital world is such that the timeframes for action are short. Rapid action must be taken to guard against technological obsolescence and electronic records will generally require active preservation at an early stage, as it is more difficult to preserve an electronic record in retrospect than it would be to do so for a paper record.
6. Steps towards preservation
The first step towards preservation of electronic records is to discover the types of records you have with you. The next step is to analyze how long the records are needed and then create a schedule for retention to record this.
7. Risk assessment of records
A risk assessment must be undertaken for all the records that are to be preserved above 5years. The issues that must be taken to consideration are impact of losing these records, the relativity of occurrence of such an incident and the cost of preservation.
8. Access arrangements in preservation strategy
Arranging an electronic record protection strategy will involve taking into account two major issues, the accessibility of the record and the format it will be preserved.
9. File formats to be used in e-record preservation
It is highly essential to take into consideration the file formats and technological requirements. When considering the file format, one should consider for how long the record will be needed and how it must be used. For short-term record preservation, the local format will be sufficient. However for long-term protection formats such as MS Word and MS Excel should not be used and instead files should be stored in standard formats such as XML or plain text.
10. Advantages of saving a file in the correct format
By saving an electronic record in the right file format, it lessens the risks posed by the technological obsolescence of computer hardware and software.

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