Storing records in the cloud: Economics, issues of trust and the environmental agenda

Julie McLeod

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This presentation examines three aspects of using cloud services for digital records storage ? economics, trust and environmental implications ? based on research conducted in 2015-16 using a survey distributed globally and a series of follow up case examples. Regarding economics it identifies models available for estimating the financial implications of cloud storage. Their underpinning theory and assumptions are either a form of standard economic financial theory (e.g. Net Present Value or variations thereof; total cost of ownership; full cost accounting), or statistical probability to handle uncertainty (e.g. Monte Carlo methods), or others (e.g., acquisition intervals and models incorporating non-functional factors). Regarding trust in cloud storage services three key issues emerged: concerns about the sustainability of the service, its economic viability, and the ability of the service to meet records requirements. Sustainability might be addressed by assessing and managing risk. Economic viability need costs to be modelled and actively monitored. To ensure records requirements are met (e.g. retention and disposition; legal and regulatory ones), recordkeeping professionals need to define and communicate the requirements within the organisation as well as to cloud service providers to know how these functions can be accomplished, and to enable them to develop appropriate products and services. Regarding environmental implications, since data centres are estimated to use 2s electricity, the less redundant information/records we store and the more effective our records retention management the less power will be needed to provide cloud services and data centres. Records professionals need to be aware of and understand economic/financial models so they can play a central role in the cloud storage decision-making process and in the development of more effective costing models. They have an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the environmental agenda by highlighting how better management of cloud storage can help reduce power usage and carbon emissions, and by better modelling cloud storage costs help their organisations? efforts to reduce power usage, and hence carbon (CO2) emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterPARES Trust Conference
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2020

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