Reasons Why You Should Clean Up Your File Shares

Linda Coniglio, Director of Privacy & Information Governance & Rachel Desormes, Information Governance Consultant

Fact: Unstructured data grows by 55-65% each year (Marr, 2019).

Fact: 69% of the information retained by most companies has no business, legal or regulatory value (Smallwood, 2020).

Fiction: My company has no compelling reason to clean up our file shares.

Does your company have privacy compliance regulations it must follow? Are you thinking about moving to the cloud? Is your company experiencing a rise in storage and eDiscovery costs?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, your company has a compelling reason for cleaning up its file shares.

Privacy compliance

The privacy compliance landscape is changing at lightning speed. Gone are the days in which a company could keep everything “just in case”. Many privacy compliance regulations require companies to dispose of content after it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was originally collected. Regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA are encouraging companies to shift their focus to data minimization efforts.

Moving to the cloud

We have all heard the analogy how migrating your information to a new platform is akin to moving to a new house. It is an excellent time to clean up your redundant, outdated, or trivial (ROT) information.

Trite? Yes. True? Yes, and here is why.

Data migrations are expensive, and as anyone in the trenches can tell you, stressful. Instead of focusing on the entire ocean of your company’s information, focus on migrating the lakes of valuable information that you need for business and record-keeping purposes. Identifying and remediating your ROT pre-migration allows you to spend your resources on the information your company needs as opposed to spending your resources on content that is no longer valuable.

Storage costs

Digital storage may be getting cheaper every year, but every year companies are spending more on storage costs. Costs that can be curbed by identifying and eliminating ROT data.

Unless your company loves paying to store ROT, you have another valid reason as to why they may want to clean up their file shares.

Note: your company does not love paying to store information that no longer has value. I promise.

eDiscovery costs

As with everything else, eDiscovery costs are also on the rise. The more content you have, the more time and resources it will take to process and review information. In some eDiscovery cases, reviewing up to a gigabyte of content can cost $14,000 (Blair, 2020). Cleaning up your file shares can alleviate some of the headaches involved with e-discovery by remediating the ROT, allowing your legal team to conduct their search in a more efficient manner, thus saving your company money. 

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