“Failing to preserve digital materials renders them unusable”

These Risk statements are arranged by organization type so you could either select the relevant Risks within your type or, if you know that your organization is particularly concerned with ‘compliance’ for example, you could identify all of the statements associated with that Motivator.

Remember that some of the Risks statements for other organization types, with the same Motivator, might also hold significance in your organization.

Organization Type

Risk

Potential Consequences

Key Motivators

All organizations

Data safety and security are compromised.

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Disruption of business/organisation’s functions
  • Confidence loss
  • Damage to reputation
  • Loss/reduction in funding/revenue
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Compliance

Reputation

Revenue

Security

All organizations

Technologies used become obsolete; this may apply to elements such as hardware, software and file formats.

  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Required to maintain expensive legacy systems
  • Disruption of business/organisation’s functions
  • Unable to provide audit trails
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Accountability

Authenticity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Costs

Enabling Research

Technology

All organizations

The bits and bytes making up the digital information degrade over time.

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Authenticity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

All organizations

Insufficient contextual information (metadata) to understand the information and for it to be useful.

  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Disruption of business/organization’s functions
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

All organizations

Lack of supporting legislation to facilitate preservation, particularly relating to copyright/IPR, privacy and legal deposit.

  • Unable to carry out necessary preservation actions
  • Data loss
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Business Continuity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

All organizations

Rate of data creation outstrips capacity for storage, processing and preservation.

  • Important digital objects are not captured within the preservation system
  • Data loss/corruption

Accountability

Business Continuity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

Security

Technology

All organizations

Insufficient funding available to allow sustainable preservation procedures and systems to be established.

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Unable to carry out necessary preservation actions
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Business Continuity

Compliance

Costs

Revenue

Technology

All organizations

Insufficient staffing/skills to be able to carry out successful preservation.

  • Unable to carry out necessary preservation actions
  • Data loss
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Business Continuity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Costs

Enabling Research

Archives

Lack of collaboration behind different departments/areas of the organization

  • Unable to establish a sustainable, fit for purpose digital preservation programme
  • Efforts duplicated in different departments/areas
  • Inefficient use of resources

Business Continuity

Costs

Archives

Executive level support for digital preservation is not persistent

  • Unable to establish a sustainable, fit for purpose digital preservation programme
  • Data loss/corruption
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Accountability

Business Continuity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

Reputation

Revenue

Archives

Failure to engage with stakeholders at all stages of the record life-cycle

  • Lack of support for digital preservation work
  • System/procedures do not support user needs
  • Do not capture necessary documentation
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects in a useable format

Accountability

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

Reputation

Archives

Failure to maintain preservation system and processes.

  • Preservation system/processes become redundant/ineffectual
  • Data loss/corruption
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • High cost of replacing/extracting data from outdated systems

Costs

Reputation

Technology

Business

Existing storage systems do not protect records from unauthorised change or corruption

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Disruption of business/organisation’s functions
  • Confidence loss
  • Damage to reputation
  • Loss/reduction in funding/revenue
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Compliance

Reputation

Revenue

Security

Business

Staff fail to comply with organizational policy and processes in relation to management of records (reliability, authenticity, usability etc.),

  • Important digital objects not captured in preservation system
  • Necessary documentation/metadata not created/captured
  • Disruption of business/organisation’s functions
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Compliance

Costs

Reputation

Business

Inability to provide evidence of compliance with regulations

  • Loss of reputation and stakeholder confidence
  • Fines/sanctions

Compliance

Costs

Reputation

Business

Business processes rely on file formats and storage media that are becoming obsolete

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Disruption of business’s functions
  • Increased costs

Business Continuity

Costs

Business

Inability to produce reliable and authentic records necessary to pursue or defend legal claims

  • Undermines ability to reach resolution
  • Unsatisfactory or expensive settlements

Authenticity

Compliance

Costs

Business

Loss of corporate memory

  • Unable to rely on past evidence to inform current decision-making
  • Insufficient resources to support branding and marketing

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Reputation

Revenue

Business

The archive team do not have the tools required for effective search and retrieval of digital holdings

  • Unable to provide access to information required to support business processes
  • Loss of productivity/revenue

Business Continuity

Costs

Revenue

Business

Inability to reuse valuable information

  • Unable to provide access to information required to support business processes
  • Loss of productivity/revenue
  • Limits innovation
  • Fall behind market/competitors

Business Continuity

Costs

Reputation

Revenue

Business

Volume of data continues to grow without action being taken

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Disruption of business’s functions
  • Increased costs now and in the future
  • Loss of productivity/revenue

Business Continuity

Compliance

Costs

Reputation

Security

Higher Education and Research

Unable to fully capture and represent current events for future generations

  • Incomplete historical record
  • Future research flawed/unreliable/biased

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

Higher Education and Research

Inability to access legal documentation, institutional history and decision-making precedents

  • Unable to rely on past evidence to inform current decision-making
  • Unable to meet legal/regulatory requirements

Accountability

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Higher Education and Research

The hardware or software required to interpret, and present digital information is no longer available

  • Unable to provide access to information required to support organizational processes
  • Disruption of organization’s functions
  • Increased costs now and in the future

Business Continuity

Costs

Enabling Research

Technology

Higher Education and Research

Research data not transferred to the relevant repository for preservation

  • Data loss
  • Gaps in the cultural/scholarly record
  • Research repeated unnecessarily

Accountability

Costs

Enabling Research

Reputation

Higher Education and Research

Lack of vendor accountability

  • Unable to place trust in services provided
  • Services not fit for purpose
  • Poor customer service
  • Unable to plan for succession

Accountability

Business Continuity

Costs

Higher Education and Research

No active preservation carried out on data

  • Expensive procedures required to access legacy data
  • Lack of documentation

Costs

Enabling Research

Higher Education and Research

Data from an experiment that cannot be repeated is not preserved

  • Data loss
  • Gaps in the cultural/scholarly record
  • Field of research is set back/compromised
  • Loss of reputation

Enabling Research

Reputation

Higher Education and Research

Data is inaccessible due to lack of preservation

  • Inability to answer crucial research questions
  • Gaps in the cultural/scholarly record
  • Field of research is set back/compromised
  • Loss of scientific legacy and the associated research opportunities
  • Research repeated unnecessarily
  • Loss of potential opportunities for collaboration
  • Loss of reputation

Costs

Enabling Research

Reputation

Revenue

Higher Education and Research

Data is not preserved with sufficient context, identifiers and documentation

  • Unique scientific datasets unknown and potential unrecognised questions
  • Field of research is set back/compromised

Enabling Research

Higher Education and Research

Data rendered usable through a lack of proactive use, updates, and checking

  • Inability to answer crucial research questions
  • Gaps in the cultural/scholarly record
  • Field of research is set back/compromised
  • Loss of scientific legacy and the associated research opportunities
  • Loss of potential opportunities for collaboration

Enabling Research

Revenue

Higher Education and Research

Litigation from consumers if data made available is not reliable and trustworthy

  • Requirement to pay fines/settlements/compensation
  • Gaps in the cultural/scholarly record
  • Field of research is set back/compromised
  • Loss of reputation

Authenticity

Compliance

Costs

Reputation

Museums and Galleries

Storage conditions are inadequate for preservation

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Disruption of organisation’s functions
  • Confidence loss
  • Damage to reputation

Business Continuity

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

Reputation

Technology

Libraries

Preservation not carried out in a timely manner

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Loss of context/documentation
  • Costly interventions require to restore access

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Costs

Enabling Research

Libraries

No active programme/processes aimed at acquiring digital objects/collections

  • Data generated by the cultural and creative industries will be lost or inaccessible
  • Failure to protect the living national record
  • Primary sources for future research cannot be found, interpreted or re-used
  • Failure to meet organisational goals
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of funding

Business Continuity

Compliance

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

Reputation

Revenue

Libraries

Organisation does not move important digital/digitized objects into a preservation system

  • Data loss/corruption
  • Unable to provide access to digital objects
  • Loss of context/documentation
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of funding

Accountability

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Enabling Research

Reputation

Revenue

Libraries

Do not adequately consider the preservation needs of complex digital objects, including new publication formats

  • Data generated by the cultural and creative industries will be lost or inaccessible
  • Loss of context/documentation
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of funding

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Reputation

Revenue

Technology

Museums and Galleries

Preservation processes do not adequately consider rendering and display.

  • Unable to correctly render files as originally intended
  • Additional work required to address issues, including consultation with experts/the artist
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of funding

Authenticity

Costs

Reputation

Revenue

Museums and Galleries

Digital objects/collections are not captured in a suitable preservation system

  • Digital objects are unusable and un-displayable
  • Loss of context/documentation
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of funding

Authenticity

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Reputation

Revenue

Museums and Galleries

Absence of appropriately skilled and invested people responsible for digital preservation

  • Incorrect/inadequate preservation
  • Preservation does not occur
  • Loss of ability to access/render digital objects
  • Loss of context/documentation
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of funding

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Costs

Reputation

Revenue

Museums and Galleries

Absence of a documented workflow for the creation/acquisition and then maintenance of digital files

  • Incorrect/inadequate preservation
  • Preservation does not occur
  • Loss of ability to access/render digital objects
  • Loss of context/documentation
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of funding

Authenticity

Business Continuity

Corporate / Cultural Memory

Costs

Reputation

Revenue


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