As requirements and regulations from FINRA, the SEC, the FTC, the FDA, and other governing bodies become more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a website archiving strategy that properly prepares your organization for compliance, litigation and eDiscovery requests. Beyond preserving the native format of your digital assets, it’s also important that your archive include features such as meta tags to decrease search time and allow your team to efficiently comply with eDiscovery requests.
Slack and HipChat
Competitors Slack and HipChat are two of the most popular communication applications for businesses (Yammer, while similar, offers some differentiation and is covered separately below).
As of October 2016, Slack reported 4 million daily active users, 5.8 million weekly active users, more than 1.25 million paid users, and more than 33,000 paid teams. Not exactly Facebook or Twitter numbers, but numbers that likely include your employees. HipChat doesn’t report its user numbers, but it’s growing fast as well.
The most essential takeaway for anyone tasked with maintaining archives of these collaboration tools is how easy they are to implement. Yes, you may have attempted to tame employee usage to aid in your data archiving by creating policies for implementing new technology, thinking the IT team will be one line of defense, but unlike traditional corporate email systems, for example, an internal team or group can start using one of these solutions in minutes, without much oversight from IT. You may also think finance can be another gatekeeper, but think again: These products have free versions that make adoption even easier.
These fast-growing solutions are also rapidly changing, which means your archiving strategy must be equally agile. Software isn’t slowly developed and massively updated anymore; instead, smaller changes are made quickly and announced with little, if any, notice. You can’t spend weeks or months planning for a change to ensure your captures stay up to date. As soon as tomorrow, there can be a brand-new feature that dramatically changes how comments are threaded or search results paginated, and your solution must be able to quickly and seamlessly adapt.
Collaboration and document sharing platforms such as SharePoint must also be included in any comprehensive website archiving strategy. According to a recent report, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies still use SharePoint on premises. Even if your company isn’t using SharePoint, you’re likely using a similar platform that presents similar challenges.
If the only content stored within your SharePoint platform is stagnant files like PDFs and Word and Excel files, most database tools will be sufficient for archiving the content. These files are typically stored online and downloaded by users if an edit is required, and a new version is uploaded.
However, SharePoint and similar sites become much more complicated very quickly. If your user interface (UI) allows for comments, questions, polls, and other communication and collaboration between employees, the metadata won’t be affixed to the documents themselves and will need to be retrieved and archived directly from the SharePoint interface. Furthermore, SharePoint is frequently rolling out new widgets and features that take the focus away from document management and into more comprehensive collaboration tools. Calendars, chats, integrations, and notebooks are among SharePoint options and must be considered for archiving.
Yammer, the enterprise social networking service used for private communication within organizations, presents challenges similar to those of SharePoint due to the increasing features being offered as part of the UI.
From the ability to loop in external partners to the integrations with SharePoint, Delve, Skype Meeting Broadcast, and more, the amount of collaboration and content sharing in Yammer can be substantial, particularly for multinational corporations. With greater connectivity comes greater complexity when it comes to archiving. If you’ve heard that your team is using Yammer, it’s absolutely worth revisiting your archiving strategy and methodology.
For some companies, Confluence is a one-stop shop for creating and communicating on projects from start to finish. While that may be great for productivity, features such as the ability to include multimedia and dynamic content present challenges for Web archival. Another useful aspect of Confluence, although one that makes archiving for compliance and e-discovery tricky, is the page history tool that allows a Confluence user to view any previous version of a page. A traditional database management tool won’t be sufficient to retrieve and preserve the breadth of content within a platform like Confluence, making native-format archiving a necessity, including archiving of the page history.
For teams building software, Jira is a powerful platform that allows for collaboration throughout the development process. With more than 1,000 add-ons and integrations with other applications such as GitHub, the complexity of Jira can make it difficult to track and archive all the content and conversations that occur within the app during the software development process.
Taking company intranets to the next level, Jive is a robust platform that allows for a wide variety of content and integrates with many of your company’s existing software applications. A leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, Jive is constantly innovating when it comes to workplace communication. From sharing corporate news to delivering trainings and encouraging communication and collaboration, the breadth of content housed on the platform can be an archival challenge.
The solution to these archival issues is to invest in a native-format archival solution that allows you to preserve the most secure, legally defensible collection of data possible.