Future-proofing

For the song by Massive Attack, see 100th Window.

The phrase future proofing describes the exclusive process of trying to anticipate future developments, so that action can be taken to minimize possible negative consequences, and to seize opportunities. For more on the process and practitioners, see Futures studies.

Data storage

Electronically stored data, just like paper data, is subject to risk over time. Future proofing electronic data involves the selection of physical media and data formats which are most likely to ensure the continued accessibility of the original information. For example, if a person had stored a video that is important to them on a Betamax tape years ago, they could have trouble finding a player for it today (2013). But if that same person had stored the video on a VHS tape, then finding a player would be simple, as VHS players are still readily available.

Future proofing data storage means ensuring that a document or data will be able to be accessed and read in the future.

Using open and well-documented formats, standards and specifications while avoiding closed proprietary formats lessens the risk of data becoming obsolete.

See also

External links

  • Digital Preservation Tutorial
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