It's a Digital World (2,835 words)
You can implement several different levels of security, depending on the complexity of your system and the need for a fully operational database at all times. Leibly notes that some companies tie their back-up system to the main database while others develop a separate system just for the digital content.
As Rietti explains, companies may explore various levels of protection beginning with running RAID, where if drives go down, the system writes the data across multiple drives to safeguard data and so stored items can be reconstructed later. A second level of protection would add daily back-ups of images via a jukebox that holds literally gigabytes of data. A third level becomes more expensive as you need to have an entire second operating system housed at another location, something only time-sensitive operations (like newspaper publishers) that cannot function with server delays or system crashes rely on.
An additional safety precaution is to keep a copy of the database index, as well, so in the event of corrupt files, you can revert to a prior version.
Database security is one area in which outside vendors can provide an advantage; most invest in state-of-the-art systems not usually rivaled by most marketers.
According to some informal research performed by Banta with its clients, creative staffs might spend 25 percent to 50 percent of their time looking for content to create communications. Another sliver of time is devoted to proofing and double-checking the finished work to verify all images and text are the right versions.
A final time-saver is the ability to send projects digitally across T1 or T3 lines to the different managers who need to sign off on all communications before the job goes out. What used to take days, now may take only a couple hours.
For Information: Russell Keizer, Cascade Systems, Andover, MA; (508) 749-7000. Frank Leibly, Banta Integrated Media, Cambridge, MA; (617) 497-6811. Francesco Rietti, Cascade Systems; (508) 749-7000.