Implementation and Execution

By J. Chatelain And D. Garrie  |  Posted 2009-08-14 Print this article Print

Implementation and execution

Armed with an understanding of the fundamental differences between paper documents and e-documents, as well as an awareness of the potential implementation pitfalls, it is possible to design, implement and deploy an electronic archiving project that reaps clear business benefits for an enterprise.

A well-planned electronic archiving deployment starts with a cross-functional team able to account for the requirements of business, legal and IT constituencies. By including all constituencies, the enterprise has a better chance that each group will be able to explain the system. If they can do so, then it shows that all employees understand the reasons for it. This allows the enterprise to implement and enforce it more readily.

12 things to consider:

1.  Understand that archiving is a long-term project that requires constant monitoring and revising;

2.  Assess the enterprise's current electronic policies, and define processes and procedures that account for worldwide regulation;

3.  Assess the total document repository size in terms of the number of individual documents rather than in terms of storage capacity;

4.  Assess the rate at which documents must be stored in the archive;

5.  Assess all vendors that will supply system components, and evaluate their services and support;

6.  Assess all software platforms, their security levels, and the frequency and ease of updating such platforms;

7.  Assess archiving hardware and software capabilities, specifically in terms of capacity planning and the evolution of their functionalities over time;

8.  Enlist a technical team to perform an in-depth analysis of all system components, focusing on indexing and classification infrastructure, as well as assessing performance and ongoing maintenance costs;

9.  Comprehensively assess the type of indexing and classifications offered by the system and the "query performance" at scale, monitoring how quickly a user will be able to find a document in the overall electronic archive;

10.  Assess the capacity of the system to support concurrent queries and retrieval;

11.  Don't allow any one constituency to control the process; rather, work with a team to design electronic archiving solutions to be used enterprise wide and for all forms of e-documents; and

12.  Train employees in the system, and monitor compliance to ensure proper adherence for potential litigation and/or government regulatory investigation.


Although electronic archiving infrastructure might appear complex, expensive and of little business value, it is in reality a cornerstone of proper enterprise governance, as well as a guardian of enterprise memory and intellectual capital. As enterprises produce more electronic information, it is crucial to conserve and protect this intellectual capital. Having such an infrastructure in place will facilitate meeting the increasing compliance requirements that are facing enterprises today.

Understanding the challenges of such systems, avoiding common pitfalls, and following a strict implementation plan will enable enterprises to successfully elicit both the business and cost benefits of electronic archiving.

Jean-Luc Chatelain is Vice President and CTO at HP. An HP Fellow, Jean-Luc joined HP at the time of acquisition of Persist Technologies, where he was Founder and CTO. Jean-Luc leads the overall information management and business intelligence strategy for HP. Jean-Luc is an expert in the design and development of high-performance enterprise storage and archiving, processing and workflow imaging systems for the healthcare, biometrics and defense industries. Jean-Luc earned his degree in CS and EE in Paris, France. He can be reached at

Daniel Garrie, Esq., is Principal and Managing Partner of EMI Capital LLC and a Senior Consultant at FSRDG, an independent consulting firm. Daniel was previously a principal and director of e-discovery at the global consulting firm of CRA International, and a co-founder of LegalTech Group LLC. Daniel is not only an accomplished attorney, but he also holds two degrees in technology, a rare combination which makes him an exceptional neutral in disputes involving the convergence of law and technology. He can be reached at




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