As the cost of storage continues to fall, some organisations are tempted to retain all of the information within their business ‘just in case’. But the cost of storage shouldn’t be your only, or your main consideration. The cost of managing that stored information across its life cycle can be astronomical – for example, managing a terabyte of data costs in the range of $14,000 to $17,000.
When the amount of information within your organisation can be doubling on an annual basis, you can see why the expense of information storage and retention should be addressed.
It is not only budgets that are potentially compromised by this explosion of information:
With so much unmanaged information throughout the organisation, the performance of IT systems and applications can be affected and access to information slow for business users, which impacts productivity in the business.
There is often poor alignment between the life cycles of Records Management and IT. Digital information with long-term preservation and retention requirements out-lives the storage media where it resides. Hardware, software and media obsolence causes information to be migrated between storage platforms of different types and formats. This puts the access, accuracy and the retention of legacy information at risk.
IT investments tend to be time-based. It is important to recognise that deploying new storage technologies and techniques such as virtualisation and Cloud-based storage will not provide the optimum ROI when there is so much unmanaged, often unnecessary information present in the company.
Information Governance, Information Storage and Retention
In an Information Governance survey 80% of respondents believed that over half of their information would be disposed of once an effective Information Governance platform was in place. The ability to defensibly dispose of the bulk of valueless and unnecessary structured and unstructured data in corporate systems frees capacity, and can extend the lifetime of current IT storage investments. Information Governance for Information Storage and Retention should:
- Identify all structured and unstructured data that the organisation has responsibility for
- Ensure that as few instances as possible of information are held and all others are defensibly disposed of
- Ensure that information is properly tagged and classified so that it can automatically progress through its life cycle
- Ensure that extensive capacity planning and management takes place to ensure storage resources are properly utilised
- Identify and remove all redundant applications, systems and hardware at the earliest possible point.