The AHIMA Convention & Exchibit is an annual conference about healthcare management. More than four thousand experts participated in the conference this year. In case you are interested in the field, you shouldn’t miss it next time.
SPIEGEL ONLINE International Companies in Germany Scramble to Strengthen Data Protection Abilities NSA Aftermath: German Firms Scramble to Boost Data Protection By SPIEGEL Staff REUTERS German companies have long suspected China and Russia of trying to steal their secrets. But the NSA scandal has turned their attention west, forcing them to worry about prying American […]
When I was young I used to collect all sorts of things: cd’s with my favorite music, magazine articles for things that interested me, coins, DVD’s, gadgets from my holiday’s destinations and even matchboxes for a short while. The reason is obvious: it was the simple desire to store and preserve everything that made me happy or brought to me good memories from the past. Well, it is a habit I kind of miss since I grew up a little bit. I remember the joy and the feeling of satisfaction every time I felt like updating or even checking on one of my boyish collections. It was a true feeling of joy!
What does it mean to grow up? Well, it means that the necessities of life knock at your door at some time (along with the pleasures of the adult life that is). A necessity of adult life couldn’t be other than the need to gather and preserve data that concern your professional life. You might need to do it by yourself if you are an accountant that works from home. Or, you might need to do it for your company if you’re one of the lucky ones that has his own office downtown (in the times of high rates of unemployment around Europe, yes, this is what I call luck!).
How many times a company had to face devastating results in the light of a mismanagement of its data? I guess it must be many! Nowadays especially, the need of a company to store its data in an appropriate way it’s not only a necessity directed from the need to operate smoothly and efficiently but it is also a matter of stricter regulations and policies concerning data management and archive storage. E.U. recent regulations have generated heated discussions concerning the issue. Nevertheless, what matters in this case is not how things should have been but how one can adjust to new realities.
Iron Mountain provides excellent services for document storage. The company simply gathers the documents and stores them to their off-site storage facilities. Web services offered by the company provide an easy and quick access to your archive. What is more, you can label, search and of course request a retrieval of documents at any time. Iron Mountain has over 1.000 storage facilities around the world and has been operating on the field since 1951. Now, this is what I call a safe choice if you want to guarantee business continuity for your own company!
Apart from storing data and information though, there is also another necessity. It consists of the simple fact that some data, some information, needs to be destroyed. And this is another sensitive issue that has been thoroughly discussed by everyone concerned: individuals, companies, institutions and governmental agencies. It goes like this: some information is valuable (it could costs millions sometimes!) and some other is simply, from a point onward, confidential waste, meaning simply waste. And these are confidential waste that a company must get rid of.
In addition, by being waste it means that you need to make proper use of them! The world we live in faces a problem, we all know it: it is the single most crucial problem this planet faces and will need to face in the future and it’s the ecological one. I will put it bluntly: if we want to imagine that sometime from now in the future normal life will still go on than we really need to start protecting the environment. In other words, your confidential waste must become recycling material and obviously this is a job that needs to be handled professionally.
Many companies choose to outsource the job of destroying their data in order to keep up with data destruction requirements and ecological concerns. Usually, they are provided with locked consoles which are emptied on a regular basis by the external company’s stuff. The waste will be 100% recycled. In addition, a small company that wishes to avoid signing a contract, it can request on-demand shredding services by another company. That means that they can use their services whenever is needed as a small company probably doesn’t need to deal with huge amount of information and confidential waste that is.
This whole issue is all about responsibility and transparency in case you didn’t get it. I only hope that most companies will comply with all of the the rules and regulations…
Hollywood also needs its preservation expert
We live in an era when the right to joy and entertainment nearly equals other rights, such as that right to the pursuit of happiness, for instance. Especially during the last decades, and at least in the Western world, everyone seems to be very concerned with this need, urge and desire for a little bit more entertainment. It is as if most of us are pursuing our happiness in some dream-like worlds, settings and contexts revealed and offered to us by the means of entertainment. Even if ephemeral, they do trigger our wildest imagination and inspire us, getting our energy level up, even if for a little while. It might be only natural, since , honestly speaking, not all of us people have the resources or opportunity to go on the pursuit of happiness for real and for granted, with many chances of getting there and also decreased risks of losing it on the way.
Given the situation, no wonder everything seems to be more pleasurable today. Did you ever take a look at Google’s offices around the world for example? If so, you must have gotten that feeling that those people in there are having fun most of the time instead of actually working hard! Or that those are the offices of the future just as well, for the sake of the health and well being of those spending most of their time in their workplace. Indeed, it was in the 1960’s when people – citizens of this world – demanded “play” and “joy” to be universal rights. Therefore, even at work one shouldn’t be deprived of the right to play, enjoy and have some fun…
Based on the aforementioned, the world of entertainment grew till it became huge – larger than life, one might argue. It is one of the biggest and most profitable industries worldwide. People in the U.S. or in Europe tend to ask for more and more cultural products, giving this impression that they simply can’t have enough! It’s never enough also due to the fact that technology has made things much more exciting.
Nothing is static nowadays and there is always something new around, even when you might have thought that you had had enough… Take the movie industry, for example: the introduction of 3D technology came at the moment when many viewers had already started to prefer their home cinema over the big screen. After the release of the first blockbusters in 3D, I don’t think that many would choose to watch Iron Man 3 at home! Of course, there is always this option of purchasing a 3D television set for the living room; however, it still does not equal the pleasure derived by the higher 3D technology used in a cinema hall.
Talking about entertainment, I simply cannot imagine our modern lives without Hollywood. Because Hollywood, only by its name being echoed, actually, signifies the Eldorado of world entertainment! It is there, in California, where the heart of popular entertainment is endlessly pumping. And for this heart to go on, we also need the ideal means of preserving all of those enjoyable little treasures.
This is when the specialists in safeguarding the product of our work come into the picture. Iron Mountain Entertainment Services are the world’s single largest center on film, sound, and digital preservation services. In case you were wondering what Universal Studios, Sony, Corbis, Universal Music Group and Paramount Pictures might have in common, other than producing and distributing tons of cultural products for our eyes only, well, then here is your answer: they all trust Iron Mountain’s valuable services. This leading company world-wide when it comes to data protection or information and records management among other services, hosts safely around 22 million elements produced and owned by over 1.200 media and entertainment companies.
Their services are complete and complex and include analog to digital transfer, real-time film viewing and videotape cleaning, among many other much needed services in the industry. Not to forget their 2 petabyte (PB) online Digital Content Repository, where companies can store and retrieve their digital material! It is hosted at the now enlarged Iron Mountain’s Digital Studios in… Hollywood. Where else could they have been than in Hollywood!?
So here you have it: as long as this world is driven by information and informational material (which is what the entertainment industry is actually using and constantly producing), we will also need a preservation expert. We need someone that can guarantee to us that nothing will be lost, since we live in an era when information is crucial, but also sensitive and vulnerable. If you have ever lost even a small movies collection that you might have gathered on your computer because of a minor error or because the system crashed, you might then know what I mean …
…and Possible Solutions
What is waste nowadays? Well, waste is not simply rubbish, that’s for sure. Waste is one of the hot issues of the day, whether we are talking about household waste and the recycling of it, whether we talk about nuclear waste and the risky consequences of not being handled with very special care, or whether we are dealing with economic waste and the reduction of it, especially in the context of current economic crisis.
Recycling seems to be top of the list when it comes to priorities and possible solutions that could impose themselves over waste. Recycling involves the transformation and reuse of already used material – be it raw material or not. But what if recycling would be applied in the reuse of already used information? What if some – by thinking recycling-wise – would try to build their kingdom on already thrown away data?
If so, this is when the term of confidential waste comes into the discussion. Handling with care confidential waste can become a priority for many businesses, if the philosophy of recycling gets too much rooted in the minds and intentions of competitors. It would mean that the confidential waste produced by your own company would become the fertile ground of competitors, who would even use whatever might be strictly confidential for you in their own advantage, for increasing their own profits and benefits. And this is how the philosophy of recycling could lose its ethical ground and become its opposite. Also, by comparison, your own confidential waste not handled with care can become as dangerous to your business’s well being as nuclear waste can be to the planet, despite nuclear power having been so useful.
But is there any solution to avoid or diminish at maximum any risk for a disaster? Well, there might be. Just as handling with care and attention the nuclear waste so that it not to produce a disaster to the whole humanity, handling with care and maximum of attention the confidential waste produced by your company could also impose itself as the most proper of even only existing solution at the moment. Also, as there are specialized organisms handling very dangerous waste, there are also specialists in handling whatever is to be considered confidential waste, so that it won’t turn against the well being of the organism or enterprise that produced it in the first place.
Back in the old days, when businesses still existed and confidentiality was an issue as well, papers and documents containing information that could have been harmful for one party or another used to be thorn apart before being thrown away. Based on that example, shredding services have been invented to insure the proper handling of that data that should and must disappear.
It is absolutely necessary to make use of such shredding services for the sake of the health of the business you might be running. The bad news today is that the software to manage to put back thorn apart documents has already been invented. Therefore, information that you might consider destroyed and long gone already might be recreated by use of specialized software. Therefore, there is the urgent need to rely upon some experts that could do the job properly.
Moreover, in case you do care not only for the well being of your own business, but also for the well being of the environment, you should then also think about some specialized companies that can handle the informational waste with care, but also the physical waste with proper consideration. This involved to contract the services of those companies who could actually guarantee, on the one hand, the fact that the confidential data would not be ‘recycled’, but, on the other hand, the fact that the physical support upon which this data had been inscribed – be it paper of plastic – could be recycled, for the benefit of the whole planet and the protection of the natural environment.
Given the complex relationship between waste and recycling – be it confidential or not, be it well-intended or not – we then need to conclude that proper care and attention will always be the best guards to prevent a possible disaster. Take care!