In todays digital age, information is crucially important to organizations of all sizes. For many businesses their websites are the key portal to their clients and in many cases there are thousands of pages, images, videos, documents and database entries associated. In order to preserve certain points in time you will need to set up website archiving services. This page will give you an overview of what such services do.
What Is Website Archiving?
Essentially it is a service that identifies certain data based on customer parameters, then harvests that data and preserves it in the form of an overall data copy. This allows you to have a snapshot of a website as it existed at a particular point in time. While it is very similar to creating data backups of computer hard drives, it is a process that is a lot more complicated and complex to get right.
Once a customer decides that they have a need to archive their website, an initial assessment of the site needs to be performed. Most modern websites access data that resides on different computers and servers that may be very geographically dispersed. Then a schedule has to be set up to determine certain times when all the relevant data is harvested and stored in the archive system. It is not as simple as creating a copy of your hard drive for backup purposes.
Why Use Website Archiving?
Organizations of all sizes are susceptible to litigation and regulatory compliance audits. When such situations arise you will be faced with the task of gathering evidence to support your case, and if your website is a key part of the way you interact with the public then you have to consider setting up website archiving services. For most companies, an awful lot of customer interaction takes place directly through their website, which often is the first place a customer arrives at.
Being able to quickly demonstrate what the content and information of your website was at a particular point in time will hugely reduce the cost of eDiscovery, which is essentially the process of finding and harvesting digital information. Having a professionally set up service will also ensure that you can very quickly go back to a certain point in time and view your website content, without having to go through a complicated and slow process of setting up a website backup.
Who Uses Such Services?
Both private corporations and government organizations routinely use website archiving services. In many cases there are regulatory reasons for the archiving process. This is predominantly seen in legal, financial and medical industries where proper record and data management is absolutely crucial. Lawsuits can be very common in these fields and you have to be able to present reliable and verifiable proof of the state of your business and website.
Financial organizations are generally most in need of reliable web archiving. Millions of transactions take place every day and vast amounts of communication takes place as well. Regulators constantly audit this information making it very important to be able to demonstrate full compliance at any given time.
Government organizations often use websites for record keeping purposes. In addition to record keeping, a lot of communication with the public is today done through websites, and it is absolutely crucial to preserve that communication through archived services. Just like private companies, government agencies have to comply with certain regulations pertaining to data storage, private information and communication records.
Even small businesses with very little web-content can benefit from archived websites. The main reason is that it is a good way of keeping records of your business documents and interactions, but it also takes you a good bit further than having simple website backups. It is generally good practice to ensure that you are able to quickly recover from IT related issues, in order to make sure that your business does not unnecessarily suffer.
Website archiving services are a perfect solution if you have a very large web-presence that acts as a key part of your business or organization. Whether you want to protect yourself against litigation or are required to because of regulatory compliance, web archiving will save you money in the long run and give you far greater flexibility.