Importance of Electronic Record Preservation in E-Business

Importance of Electronic Record Preservation in E-Business

Helena Halas (SETCCE, Slovenia) and Tomaž Klobucar (SETCCE and Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-611-7.ch108
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Abstract

The development of information and communication technology (ICT) and the rapid increase of ebusiness have led to a rapid growth of the number of produced and exchanged electronic documents. The documents range from simple receipts to complex legal contracts and service level agreements. More and more types of documents are required to be preserved for longer periods of time, for example, due to legal reasons or as evidence of a business activity. Although electronic records are created and managed in an electronic form through their entire lifecycle, they are usually printed at the end and preserved in paper form to be legally valid. This has led to a situation where paper archives are becoming too complex to be effectively managed, and need to be replaced with electronic record preservation systems. Properly preserved electronic records have equivalent legal value as records in the paper form and can be used as evidence material in court. Advanced organizations use document management systems (DMSs) for managing large numbers of electronic records. For example, a mobile phone operator creates user contracts in an electronic form or converts them from paper, preserves the contracts as long as required by the law, and disposes them after that. Unfortunately, DMSs frequently do not provide adequate technologies for integrity and authenticity provisions, which are critically important for long-term electronic record preservation in business organizations. More advanced electronic records preservation technologies are therefore required.
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Background

Electronic record preservation, in general, refers to the preservation of electronic records which originate in electronic form or are properly digitalized from a paper form. According to the ISO (2001), records are information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or individual, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business activities. Electronic records are records in electronic form created by a software application or as a result of digitization. The preservation process starts at the time of record creation or reception and continues throughout the entire record lifecycle to its preservation or disposal. It is inevitably linked with the records management field (European Commission, 2008).

Different standards that define technological approaches for the management of electronic records have been recently developed, for example US-DoD 5015.2, DOMEA, or NOARK4, but they mostly discuss the electronic preservation problem from a governmental perspective of specific countries. MoReq (Model requirements for the management of electronic records) is an international standard designed for any kind of organization (governmental or otherwise) and its main purpose is to unify the functional requirements for the management of electronic records for EU members. Updated and extended in 2008 MoReq2 (European Commission, 2008) is meant to become an internationally recognized standard, which would replace current national standards inside different European countries.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Integrity: Referring to the fact that a record is complete and unaltered.

Preservation Process: Process from the time of record creation or reception through its entire lifecycle to its preservation or disposal.

Document Management System (DMS): Computer system used to track and store electronic documents.

Record Lifecycle: basic concept in records management. It is a way of looking at how records are created and used.

Electronic Preservation: Preservation of electronic records which originate in electronic form or are properly digitalized from paper form.

E-Business (Electronic Business): Any business processes that rely on an automated information system.

Authenticity: Means that the record is what it purports to be.

Records: Information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.

Outsourcing: Subcontracting a process to a third-party.

Electronic Records: Records in electronic form created by software application or as a result of digitization.

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