The Archive is Dead

“Make yourself redundant.”

You often hear CEOs use this as a business mantra. It makes sense. A company’s employees and executive team should be empowered to work independently while pulling in the same direction and toward the same goal. Building the structures and culture for this to happen, with or without you, is what business leaders should be aiming for.

Making your industry redundant is a goal you don’t hear from CEOs quite as often. But it is equally important; pushing your team to drive innovation so far past the status quo that it changes the expectations customers set for your entire industry. This is the only way businesses can keep pace with a rapidly changing world.

Smarsh is the recognized leader in the Enterprise Information Archiving industry. We have worked hard over the past 20 years to be a disrupting force that pushes ourselves and our peers to continuously innovate.

Despite this, it is understandably terrifying to admit that the archive, as we knew it, is dead.

The COVID-19 pandemic is partially to blame. Since 2020, our concept of working has been turned on its head. Entire workforces now operate remotely, collaboration tools abound, and the lines between personal and professional communications have blurred. These factors have completely changed what businesses need and expect from their archives.

Of course, times have been changing since long before the pandemic. The way we communicate has been evolving at an ever-faster pace since Smarsh was founded in the early 2000s. Back then, we were helping clients capture, archive and monitor emails to meet rapidly modernizing regulatory requirements.

Now, we help our clients capture, archive and monitor data from over 80 different channels (and growing). Our solutions need to be able to understand and discover risk in text, audio, video, photos, emojis, reactions, instant messages and social media posts. And the fact that this needs to be done seamlessly both in the office and at home only adds to the complexity.

The legacy archives that many of the world’s largest financial services businesses still use weren’t created to manage this. And so, Smarsh is once again pushing to innovate to meet the needs of our clients and define the standards our industry will be held to in the future.

The archive is dead, long live the archive

All business leaders in our industry should now be asking themselves: what do our customers need?

Given the context, we have arrived at a different generation of business communications. Businesses need next-generation solutions to satisfy archiving requirements. The archive has become a use case, of a content platform that is designed to enable workflows that achieve compliance and risk management objectives.

Modern data requirements call for cloud-first content platforms that can easily build scale as needed. The complexity and variety of data require solutions that take advantage of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing.

Without these next-generation technologies, all businesses in regulated industries expose themselves to significant risk, and the untenable costs of hiring enough compliance professionals to manage everything.

CEOs, CTOs and heads of legal and compliance functions should be asking if they are SPAR-ready. By this I mean, do their compliance systems offer Scale, Performance, Agility and Resilience?

If the answer to any of those is no, then your business faces significant risk that needs to be addressed.

The variety, velocity and volume of data generated through day-to-day business communications is already colossal and continues to grow. Regulatory requirements are getting more complex, and the impact of truly location-agnostic working is making compliance increasingly difficult.

Companies that adapt to our new reality of communications will be able to take advantage of the significant opportunities that lie ahead. But investment in the right compliance technology that is tailor-made to meet the needs of modern businesses is crucial for getting there.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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