The role of digitization in the preservation of corporate archives at Kenya Power and Lighting Company
Ronoh, Elvis Kipngenoh
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Records in digital format are becoming more influential in governance and operations of both corporate and government as many organizations embark on electronic commerce (e)-strategies. The use of information and telecommunications technologies (ICTs) in preservation at KPLC has resulted in the creation and use of digital records. This strategy is believed to increase the efficiency of the internal processes such as those supporting financial and human resources management. Because of the speed of technological change, organizations have to consider issues of preservation of their digital archives even while they are still in active use and needed for posterity. Digital records being preserved by the organization must be accurate and complete to ensure transparency and accountability. Records in whatever form need to be captured, managed and safeguarded in an organized system in order to retain their value as formal corporate records. The aim of the study was to investigate the role of digitization in the preservation of corporate archives at Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). The specific objectives of this study were to; determine the accessibility of the digitally preserved archives at KPLC, find out the policies relating to digital preservation of archives at KPLC, analyze security threats related to digital preservation of archives at KPLC and to explore the challenges of digital preservation of archives at KPLC. The theoretical framework focused on Open Archival Information System. The research adopted a descriptive research design. A mixed method approach was used to incorporate both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies which gave a better understanding of the research problem. The target population comprised of 74 participants. The study employed census sampling technique. Semi structured questionnaire were used as the main data collection instrument and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 23). Pilot study was administered to test the success of the study over the prevailing circumstance. Pearson correlation and linear regression was used to test the relationship between variables in the study hypothesis. Analyzed data was presented descriptively using tables, graphs and pie charts. The results of the study indicated that KPLC is open to preservation digital records hence embracing the various formats for preservation. The study found out that KPLC appreciate records as key drivers in various business activities hence the diverse access provision. KPLC provided three kind of access to digital archive services which included full access, partial access and no access were allowed on some of digital records. The findings established that KPLC had policies related to Digital Records Management (DRM). Among the policies set up by KPLC to regulate the preservation of digital archives included; authorization, staff development, application of latest technology in preservation of information and regulatory compliance policy. Also, the study revealed that KPLC had proper procedures and mechanism in place to ensure security, long term preservation and accessibility of digital records. Technical measures to prevent unauthorized access included: data and database security, procedural security, system security and data back-up. Finally, the challenges surrounding digital preservation of archives included inadequate funding, obsolete hardware and software, insufficient ICT facilities, fragile storage media, inadequate expertise and shortage of DRM Skills. The study recommended that; KPLC should adopt new communication technologies (face book, twitter and blogs), undertake capacity building by developing a detailed training plan and finally KPLC should have a detailed budget process since adoption of ICTs requires huge capital for purchase of computers, software and training of staff.
Kenya Methodist University