Build the foundations for compliance.

Author:Tongish, Steve
Position:Storage Expo 2008

Globally there are hundreds of regulations governing the preservation and legal admissibility of digital data. Many European countries are not far behind the United States in defining and enforcing data regulations and there is growing potential for EU wide legislation. Understanding exactly which regulations apply to your own company can be very complex. This may seem like an insurmountable challenge but it is possible to deploy a foundation for compliance, without complete knowledge of regulatory obligations, which will support your compliance needs into the future and provide substantial business benefits.

The fundamentals of data regulations and compliance

Start by accepting the fact that regulations are here to stay. This means that the sooner your organisation addresses the fundamentals of the compliance challenge, the better off you will be. There are a few core requirements common to almost all data compliance regulations. Data needs to be secure, original, accessible over many years and you must be able to hand data over to the regulator in short order if requested.

If you align your business practices and put in place technologies to support these fundamental requirements, you put your company in a very strong position for the future. Regulatory requirements are certain to get more complex over time, but with the foundations in place, you will be in a far better position to respond to demands for increasing sophistication. In addition, you will also be able to realise market advantage over less prepared competitors by having a better handle on your data assets.

Considerations for technology choices

One of the key building blocks in a compliance foundation is the storage solution used to archive essential digital records. Choosing an appropriate storage strategy can strengthen your ability to meet data authenticity requirements, provide greater overall system flexibility and reduce support and maintenance costs over the life of the archive. These are all issues that can enhance your ability to achieve regulatory compliance.

There are many technologies available for long-term storage of data, each with their own individual merits. However, in respect to building a foundation for compliance, you only need to compare their specifications against the required attributes. You should select a storage technology that delivers record authenticity, has long data life to reduce the frequency of data migration, and reduces the risk of data...

To continue reading