September 14, 2015 by Jatheon

Why is unstructured data archiving critical in the financial industry?

Why is unstructured data archiving critical in the financial industry?

Records and data retention isn’t the most exciting part of operating a company in the finance industry, but it’s critical to successful long-term operation. Archiving and secure storage aren’t particularly interesting to most employees or the C-suite – until an audit begins, a regulatory audit or investigation starts or a lawsuit is filed. In those situations, strong data archiving policies and tools can save large amounts of time, effort, and money. This includes a platform for securely retaining and indexing unstructured data to make sure all aspects of potentially relevant or actionable information is properly retained.

Here’s a look at some of the ways in which unstructured data archiving is critical in the financial industry:

“A strong plan for data retention inside a company is the foundation for a comprehensive compliance effort.”

Internal recordkeeping and proactive compliance efforts
While internal audits and rules don’t carry the same regulatory as weight as those instituted by industry groups and government agencies, a strong plan for data retention inside a company is the foundation for a comprehensive compliance effort. Maintaining secure stores of unstructured data like emails and chat logs helps calibrate and optimize proactive efforts to meet regulatory needs. This, in turn, makes the eventual audit or lawsuit a far easier force to contend with.

One benefit of internal archiving that can be overlooked relates to business productivity. The ability to accurately and quickly search through old communication data can reveal a great idea that was later lost or confirm a specific decision made by a superior. While a secondary benefit in the regulation-driven financial world, this advantage shouldn’t be overlooked.

Dealing with regulators and rules
The peace of mind found when a strong, complete archiving solution is in place isn’t often felt, but a call or message from an investigator at a regulatory agency will quickly bring that feeling – or one of worry and concern – to the forefront. Archiving solutions that meet the requirements of relevant rules, in terms of storage format and timeline, make an organization confident when responding to a regulatory inquiry. Powerful search features are another major benefit when it comes time for an audit, cutting down on the time spent searching for relevant records and leading to quicker resolutions. With the right solution in place, it’s much easier for businesses in the financial world to maintain compliance between audits and demonstrate the success of their efforts to investigators and other regulatory agents.

Responding to lawsuits and other legal challenges
A lawsuit has the potential to cause serious damage to a company, to the point of potentially restructuring operations or closing altogether. When information is archived in formats admissible as evidence, it’s a major advantage in terms of proving intent and action, as well as establishing timelines and generally protecting a financial firm or company from needless litigation. Instead of worrying whether needed messages were saved correctly or in the right place, organizations with a strong archiving solution know they have the relevant unstructured data ready for use by lawyers and other legal professionals.

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