6:20 PM -- They say that lightning doesn't strike twice, but try telling that to Iron Mountain, which, within the space of 24 hours earlier this month, dealt with fires at paper storage facilities in Ottawa and London. (See Iron Mountain Feels the Heat.)
Although initial signs suggest that a small number of records were affected in Ottawa, the damage at the London site was significant, with Iron Mountain describing the 126,000 square foot facility as a "total loss."
The two events, however, raise serious questions about data archiving. Despite all the hype about electronic content management and online backup over the last few years, paper still remains a major tool for many businesses. (See Online Backup Services: Weighing Their Worth.) Iron Mountain, for example, says that its paper records business is growing substantially at the moment. As Melissa Mahoney, Iron Mountain's director of corporate communications told me yesterday, "Paper is not going away."
But what is the next step for companies that had data stored at the London site? The devil, it would appear is in the details.
Any compensation in this type of situation, according to Mahoney, is decided on a contract-by-contract basis. "The price that we charge for storage of these paper records, which is pennies per box, does not allow us to assume a high level of liability for those records," adds the spokeswoman.