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Escape from the digital minefield

Digital sustainability is a concern to every organization that spends time and money on preserving digital files. Digital files are vulnerable: hardware ages, mistakes are made when copying files, old file formats are no longer supported. And above all, human errors also affect the integrity of digital files.

This scoring model guides you through the minefield of risks and threats. The final score charts the strengths and weaknesses of your digital household and indicates where you can best intervene to further reduce the risks.


The scoring model assesses the status of your digital household asking 56 questions, grouped in 7 clusters:

  • Mandate and policy: Does your organization have a mandate for the long-term preservation of digital files and is your organization sustainable in itself?
  • Preservation strategy: Has your organization made explicit what, for whom and how it preserves digital files?
  • Knowledge and organization: Does your organization have proper in-house expertise and is it used adequately?
  • Technical infrastructure: Does your organization have a reliable and sustainable infrastructure for the preservation of digital files?
  • Ingest: Does your organization have procedures and requirements in place to manage the intake of digital files into your preservation system?
  • Planning and quality control: Does your organization have a mechanism in place to plan and monitor the accurate functioning of your digital repository?
  • Access: Does your organization provide proper access to digital files?

Maturity Model

It is important that you systematically deal with the risks. First try to get outside the red zone for each cluster. With a few targeted measures, the biggest threats can often quickly be resolved. In a next phase some less urgent measures can then be taken. In this way, the security of digital storage grows systematically, until a satisfactory safety level can be achieved.

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