Because of the increasing usage of information technology by organisations, corporates, government and individuals, there is growing demand for the alignment of archival services with these technological developments. Archival records are deposited with the National Archives in whichever format they were created and managed but some of these formats are limiting in terms of provision of access due to obsolescence or other physical limitations. The drive to improve service delivery and encourage the use of archives by the general public is handicapped by the disparities on the user expectations versus the technological limitations of National Archives. There are a growing number of users who prefer to utilize technology for access and interpretation of archival resources and this trend continues to grow.
There are more benefits in as far as sharing and/or linking collections by various archival and other heritage institutions. This move towards sharing resources and expenses is encouraged to share the burden of ever-increasing cost of expert skills and technology. Developing infrastructure for digitisation is a costly exercise. The Department of Arts and Culture is in the process of finalising the National Policy on Digitisation of Heritage Resources. This draft policy suggests that there should be National Digital Repositories of which the National Archives will be one. The need for the digital repositories is supported by the need to bring collections which are related together in a way that would be more beneficial to the users; more like a one stop shop for archival collections online. The National Archives has developed a Digitisation Strategy which guides its implementation and management of digitisation projects. The next step is to establish a fully functional digitisation section. Currently digitisation is either done through partnerships with other stakeholders or scanning on demand basis.