News Feature | July 22, 2014

The Growing Need For Mobile Device Archiving

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Mobility Archiving Tablet

Are you keeping your data protected through archiving?

Over the past several years, users have increasingly turned to mobile devices to consume and create corporate information. However, despite the rapid growth of mobile in the workplace, archiving of this content is not keeping pace. Failure to adequately archive this content can result in a variety of problems, including the ability to place legal holds on data, failure to find and produce relevant content for eDiscovery and regulatory audits, and more.

A recent white paper, The Growing Need for Mobile Device Archiving, from Osterman Research examines the growing impact of mobility, the implications of mobility on archiving and data security, and recommendations to ensure full and ready access to content stored on mobile devices. An Osterman Research survey found that 33 percent of the typical information worker’s time is spent doing work on a mobile device.  Further, 42 percent of the work-related content is accessed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Moreover, 31 percent of the content that users create is on a mobile device. A growing number of users have deployed mobile applications and cloud-based storage repositories that house corporate content without any type of IT oversight. The problem is that archiving of mobile content has not kept pace with this paradigm shift in work behavior. The survey also found:

  • While 98 percent of e-mail from mobile devices is archived, only 48 percent of documents are archived
  •  Other data types from mobile devices — text messages, social media posts, and phone call log data — are archived in even smaller proportions
  •  While archiving of content should be immediate, less than half of mobile users report that archiving from their devices. If it happens at all, it occurs immediately and continuously
  • For one in eight users, there can be long periods before mobile content is archived, such as only when a user is connected to the corporate WiFi network

If content is not immediately archived from a mobile device, it can be corrupted, lost, or modified before it has the chance to be placed into a corporate archive. Such modification of data can create serious issues for organizations that need to archive content for legal or regulatory purposes, since it can result in an inability to place relevant data on legal hold or loss of important business records. Therefore, organizations find mobile archiving solutions that can migrate all relevant content from mobile devices quickly, efficiently and automatically.

The survey’s findings make it clear that the benefits of mobile device usage outweigh the risks. This does not mean that organizations can ignore the risks; rather, organizations must implement policies to mitigate risks.

Ultimately, a growing proportion of corporate content is generated and accessed on mobile devices, but archiving of this content is not keeping pace.  Failure to adequately archive content can result in a variety of problems, including an inability to meet regulatory and legal requirements for data, and can result in corruption of data, fines, sanctions, or other adverse consequences. Consequently, the study concludes all organizations should implement archiving solutions for mobile platforms and related content sources that permit the content to be searched and produced as needed.  Best practices dictate that any mobile archiving solution is part of an overall comprehensive archiving strategy that accounts for SMS/MMS, email, files, social media, and other business records.