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Digital continuity is the ability to use digital information in the way that you need, for as long as you need. If you do not actively work to ensure digital continuity, your information can easily become unusable.

Digital continuity is about making sure that your information is complete, available and therefore usable for your business needs. Your information is usable if you can:

  • find it when you need it
  • open it as you need it
  • work with it in the way you need to
  • understand what it is and what it is about
  • trust that it is what it says it is

Why digital continuity is important

Managing digital continuity protects the information you need to do business. This enables you to operate accountably, legally, effectively and efficiently. It helps you to protect your reputation, make informed decisions, reduce costs, and deliver better public services.

If you lose information because you haven't managed your digital continuity properly, the consequences can be as serious as those of any other information loss.

Digital continuity in practice

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You must keep your information complete and available in the way you need to meet your usability requirements. 

Usable

Your information meets your requirements for how you want to use your information (for example, to read, edit, or manipulate information).

Complete

You have everything you need to use, understand and trust the information, including the content, context and all the necessary metadata.

Available

You can find what you need and you have the correct technology to open it and work with it in the way you need.

Digital continuity depends on understanding how you use your information to support business needs, and then making sure that your technical environment and your information asset management support that business use. Where they overlap, you have digital continuity; information that is cost-effective, efficiently managed, and usable.

Next steps

For more information  please read our guidance below:

Understanding Digital Continuity (PDF, 0.29Mb)

This guidance is aimed at anyone who wants to know more about digital information management and digital continuity. Whether you have been given a specific role to fulfil, or if you are just reading to improve your knowledge, this is a good starting point.

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