Businesses are increasingly looking at whether storage media will allow them to retain data for more than 100 years, research from the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has found.
Of 276 archivists questioned, 80% of respondents had information that needed to be kept for more than 50 years, and 68% said they had to keep this data for more than 100 years.
However, 70% of respondents said they were "highly dissatisfied" with their projected ability to read retained data in 50 years' time.
Juergen Arnold, chairman of SNIA Europe, said, "More and more directives are being published at global, pan-European and country level, requiring that organisations preserve data in a safe and accessible format for decades. This should be an essential element of most storage strategies going forward."
Overall, those surveyed felt that current practices were labour-intensive, prone to error, costly and lacking adequate co-ordination across the organisation.
Information classification and collaboration between those who own information and administrators were seen as important practices for effective data storage strategies.
One survey respondent said, "When using a digital archive, understand that you will have a long, hard, expensive road to keep the records. You have to think about the ability of your great-great-great-great-grandchildren to be able to read and logically interpret what your history was."