In data storage terminology, the word compliance is used to refer to industry-wide government regulations and rules that cite how data is managed and the need for organizations to be in compliance with those regulations. The term encompasses data storage, data archiving, data encryption, and also data retrieval. Compliance has become a major concern for organizations and businesses, due largely in part to increasing regulatory requirements which often require organizations to invest in new technologies in order to address compliance issues.
There are more than 8,500 state and federal regulations concerning records management in the United States, as well as additional voluntary standards. *Some of the specific regulatory compliance issues organizations have to contend with are the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for all public corporations, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for corporations in the healthcare industry and SEC regulations for retention of all electronic correspondence with clients.
[* Adapted from EnterpriseStorageForum]