On a recent flight I was challenged on what exactly is the future of compliance archiving? Is there really a future at all? And if there is, is it even interesting? Is it important? The answer is undoubtedly a resounding yes, and let me show you why.
Can you imagine the conversation:
Passenger A: “What do you do?”
Passenger B: “I am a strategist for a software company.”
Passenger A: “What kind of software?”
Passenger B: “Compliant archiving.”
Passenger A: “Sounds …. Interesting.” (They are trying hard to sound interested at this point.)
Not a great point for starting! In the simplest form, there are two questions raised here: Is compliance archiving and its related pursuits important? And is it a broadly static technological activity or is it dynamic? In this blog I will address the first question and will address the second in a following posting.
The importance of compliance archiving
Compliance archiving does not have a Wikipedia Page (something I need to remedy!). But if it had it would say something like “Compliance archiving is the act of preserving and making searchable all electronic media and messaging to/from an individual.” This “low profile” probably explains why compliance archiving is not imagined as the exciting and innovative field it truly is.
The importance of compliant archiving is driven by many imperatives but the two most significant are:
- Regulatory imperative. There are many regulations pertaining to the need to retain records and communications ranging from tax regulations such as IRS requirements to keep your records for 3 to 7 years or the 1934 (yes 1934!) Securities Exchange Act [amended 2012]  which defines the types or records (17a-3) and retention methods (17a-4) for broker dealers.
- Preservation of truth. There is clearly a problem of “Fake News” in society today . Once having an unalterable record was a requirement only for regulated industries. Today, because of technological developments, organisations may be the victim of “fake news” or worse. Many non-regulated organisations feel the need to “raise the bar” and self-impose similar archival standards, allowing them to rely on that record later. Therefore, in the future archivist technology and practitioners may find themselves at the vanguard of defending liberty and truth.
I’ll cover this in my next blog! With the "Top 10 things that are going to rock the world of compliance archiving!"
More Information Management & Governance blogs can be found here.
 “How Long Should I Keep Records | Internal Revenue Service,” 2017, https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records.
 M Mitchell Waldrop, “News Feature: The Genuine Problem of Fake News.,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, no. 48 (November 28, 2017): 12631–34, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1719005114.
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