Information is an integral element and asset for any organization. There is a lot of data and information that is associated with the organization and the same is exchanged on a daily basis. Information that is presented within an organization is collected from various internal and external sources and directly affects the decision making for an organization. It has become the necessity for the organizations to control and manage the information accurately by applying a number of strategies and techniques. There are also a number of potential risks that may occur which may cause severe damage to the confidentiality, reliability, availability and integrity of the information. Digital data preservation is a technique that provides a mechanism to preserve the essential data and information in the present digital era.
Digital Data Problem
There are a number of problems that appear during the attempt to preserve the digital data. The data that is present within the organization differs in terms of attributes and properties. It becomes difficult to store and keep the data at one platform without altering any of the data properties. There are also issues of incompatibility between the data sets. The classification scheme on the data also varies, for instance, the data may be public, private, sensitive or confidential in nature. There are a number of legal and regulatory policies that are associated with the data that must also be maintained at all times. Redundancy and duplicity are also two commonly occurring issues during data preservation as the data sets may be completely same and it is necessary to identify the data that must be preserved and the one that must be discarded which is a difficult process to execute (Choudhury, DiLauro, Szalay, & Vishniac, 2016).
Digital Data Preservation
Digital Data Preservation is a concept and mechanism that makes sure that the digital data remains preserved at all times to maintain the accessibility and usability of the same. There are a number of preservation policies and techniques that are applied to ensure that the data is kept safe and secure (Goth, 2012).
Goals of Digital Data Preservation
Following are the goals that are considered during the preservation process.
- Digital information and data is always under the physical control of the repository that is maintained for a particular organization
- There is a unique identification that is applied on all the data sets to retrieve the same easily in future
- The availability of the data is never compromised with under any circumstance
- The relationship that exists between the data sets is also preserved at all times and the same shall never be altered
- Digital content is always executable and rendered accurately (Isq, 2010)
Digital Data Preservation Techniques and Uses
There are a number of techniques and strategies that are defined and are present to preserve the digital data that is associated with the organization. Bitstream Preservation is the first and the foremost technique that is applied and should be followed for the preservation of the digital content. It refers to maintaining an exact duplicate of the original data in the repository other than the one where the original counterpart is stored. This technique is applied so that the data remains intact even in the occurrence of a risk or a threat or during the presence of a disaster. Bitstream copying is often combined with remote storage so that the original and the copy are not subject to the same disastrous event. It helps the organizations to keep their data secure (Paradigm, 2016).
Migration is the technique that refers to the transfer of digital data and content from one location to another. Technology is something that is changing at a rapid pace and there is a new technology that is introduced in the market on a frequent basis. It becomes necessary for the organizations to remain updated in terms of the technological aspects and thus, the data is often migrated from an existing system to a newer system. It also aids in the preservation of data as there are increased risks in the older systems due to the loopholes in the technology that is applied in the same. Refreshing is a preservation strategy that is often applied to the migration process which ensures that the content is copied from existing system to the new system without altering any properties and is also done in a timely manner such that the data is preserved before the existing platform becomes obsolete. IBM, Microsoft, Cisco and many other market giants have adapted this strategy (Dpworkshop, 2016).
Data that is associated with the organization not only comprises of the software and information bits but the hardware and the technology that is associated is of equal importance. Technology preservation is another strategy that is used for the digital data preservation and involves the safekeeping of operating systems, applications, software, media pieces, systems and many more. Maintenance of obsolete technology such that it can be re-used can be troublesome and requires a lot of effort (Stamp, 2016). Emulation is the digital data preservation technique that brings the software and hardware on one single platform from an existing to a newer environment. It brings together the different components and entities to imitate in every single crucial trademark the execution of another PC of an alternate outline, permitting projects or media intended for a specific domain to work in an alternate, more often than not more current environment. Imitating requires the making of emulators, projects that interpret code and directions from one processing environment so it can be legitimately executed in another. Encapsulation is the technique that is used capsule or group together varied digital content so that the accessibility to the same is maintained at all times. It also aids in the emulation process for the data preservation and includes grouping together of references, representations and likewise (Ands, 2016). There are a number of standards and file formats that are present in single information architecture. This technique is a formalized implementation of reliance on the standards that are defined. The various data sets and pieces are converted in to one single file format to ensure the preservation is done accurately.
Advantages of Digital Data Preservation
There are a number of advantages for the organization that are offered by the digital data preservation. The same are as listed below.
- Recoverability is an essential requirement that is demanded by all the clients in their applications. It also becomes necessary for the organizations to recover in a timely manner in case of a disaster or an attack. Digital data preservation allows the organizations to realize this objective and also makes sure that the content is accessible and can be used in case of such an event. Recoverability is surely enhanced with the aid of digital data preservation (Farquhar, 2016).
- The cost and effort that may otherwise be required to capture data all over again or to look for sources for the reference is also avoided with the help of this technique as it create a vast data repository which can be used as future references or for re-storing the data (Hedstrom, 2016).
- The security aspects that are associated with the data and information also get enhanced with this technique as the availability and reliability of the data is maintained at all times. Even in the scenarios of attacks or threats, the essential properties of the information remain intact and are not violated.
Limitation of Digital Data Preservation
There are a number of limitations that are present in the path of digital data preservation which are as listed below:
- Access and identity management becomes a critical issue for the organizations as there is a lot of data that is kept in the repository and the right users should be allowed to access the same.
- Security of data is another issue as attackers may attempt to acquire the data through unauthorized means.
- Synchronization of the data is another issue that emerges in the techniques and processes of digital data preservation
Digital data preservation is a concept and methodology that ensures the preservation of not only the data but also the relationships and properties that are associated with the same. Information and data are the two primary assets for any organization and the firms are trying all that is possible to keep the same safe and secure. This is the technique that aids in the process by providing the techniques that allow the organization to preserve their valuable assets with much ease. There are a number of techniques that are recommended with the concept of digital data preservation such as Bitstream copying, emulation, encapsulation, refreshing, migration, normalization and many others. These techniques are applied to keep the essential properties of data and information such as confidentiality, availability, integrity and reliability intact at all times and under every circumstance as well. There are also many benefits that are provided by the concept of digital data preservation. It allows the organization to avoid the additional costs that are associated with data gathering and collection during the projects as the already preserved data can be easily referred. Data and information security is also enhanced with the help of this technique.
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