COLD is an industry acronym for Computer Output to Laser Disc. If that sounds Old and Dated, it’s because it has been around for many years, even though Laser Disc is no longer in common usage in the industry.
The idea behind the Laser Disc is an implementation of WORM technology (Write Once, Read Many). This type of storage is ideal for long-term storage of static data like invoices, customer records, monthly or weekly status reports. The idea is that this data is not subject to updating, only reading, and not necessarily a lot of reading.
Companies and organizations have a need for archiving off their data periodically and COLD is a way to do this.
In 1979, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago opened their "Newspaper" exhibit which used interactive Laserdiscs to allow visitors to search for the front page of any Chicago Tribune newspaper. This was a very early use of digitally interactive technology in Museums and could even be among the first.
Think about how ubiquitous access to archived materials is today.
The devices used to store the data are different today (Laserdisc is pretty rare), but the idea is still around. COLD is often times referred to Enterprise Report Management (or ERM).