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Vipul Mohile

Latest technologies such as IoT have led to the rapid proliferation of new data, content, and information. Many enterprises face challenges to maintain legacy applications to meet the needs of compliance and regulation, legal, or retain data for its importance. Enterprises need more storage and more compute power to store and process more data, and faster and quicker networks to meet user expectations of performance. Therefore content management becomes difficult and expensive, sometimes even hampering investments on adoption of new technologies. According to a Markets & Markets report, enterprise information archival market is expected to grow to USD 7.55 billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.8% during the forecast period 2015-2020. Gartner reports say that enterprises are increasingly looking to tap into a rich stream of business intelligence by applying analytics and classification to the archived data. With the increase in use of social media platforms and personal messaging applications, enterprises are looking for improved offerings to also integrate archiving of such platforms for compliance-based or business-analytic-based initiatives.

Preservation of enterprise information for long-term storage and extraction of value out of the stored information is important for enterprises across all industries. Content or information archival cannot be ignored by enterprises for reasons such as compliance with regulations, gaining insights and staying ahead of competition, and for any legal e-discovery needs. Two main use cases emerge when we consider information archival for preservation, namely, legacy application archival and active application archival. At the technology level there can be bifurcation of SAP vs non-SAP applications.

Typically archival as a service is a game of volume of data at rest, but other parameters such as access, architecture, longevity of data, records management, and integration become key to define an overall archival platform structure. Gone are the days when data at rest was considered as dead data and needed to be checked only when a special need arises. In today’s world analytics on historic data proves to be a fortune changer for organizations.

As a Service Advantages 

Cloud adoption by enterprises is on the rise as it effectively addresses the growing cost of managing content lifecycle, solutions, licenses, and infrastructure. Enterprises can offload their ECM infrastructure, platform, and applications by choosing a fully managed services model. Enterprises can migrate to the offerings by product vendors, service integrators or create their own private clouds and engage system integrators to provide content management and archival as managed services. This model certainly brings advantages in terms of ease of administration, reduced overhead of capex and opex investments, reduced risk, easy accessibility, easy management of resources, etc. However it requires a detailed feasibility and ROI study as a short term solution may look enticing, but in the long term it may not be economically viable.

One Size Does Not Fit All

It is also true that one as-a-service solution, which is an absolute match for an enterprise may not be suitable for another enterprise as requirements vary. Value gain also will considerably differ. This is because the as-a-service model allows consumption on a need basis and enterprises can walk away when they choose to do so. It is important to bear in mind that there will be associated costs such as migration costs, customization and integration costs, and other factors. That is where innovative approaches towards service oriented delivery model plays a key role in defining win-win situation for enterprises and the service provider. Therefore, proper due diligence exercise is recommended to find out hidden cost, hidden assumptions, and complexity.

About the author(s)
Vipul Mohile

With over 18 years of experience in Information Management technologies, Vipul Mohile focuses on development of and consulting about Enterprise Content Management solutions. He is an AIIM ECM Master certified professional and been part of multiple assignments formulating ECM lifecycle journey and roadmap for various customers. His specializations include opentext enterprise information management and content archival strategy building.