As local governments find new uses for the cloud, new questions and considerations arise. Sarah Koonts, director of North Carolina’s Division of Archives and Records, encourages CIOs to also look far into the future as they search for answers.
Koonts’s team ensures the safety of key financial, legal and policy documents designated to become permanent parts of the state’s history. And the cloud continues to play an increasingly important role in those efforts. “The cloud offers a less expensive way to permanently store large data sets, compared to installing servers and paying people to maintain them,” she says. “The information is housed offsite, so it’s protected if a disaster strikes our area.”
She estimates that about half of the permanent records her division manages have been backed up to the cloud.
But new challenges also arise, such as how government officials can ensure citizens will continue to be able to locate and read historical records many generations from now.
“When evaluating a service provider, make sure that preservation means more than just backups,” she says. “We preach governance and records management. Before you enter a cloud environment, determine how and how fast you’ll be able to get your data out, how it will be secured, and what format your information will take.”
Check out more about how local governments are taking the cloud to the next level here.