By: Justin Schierkolk, Marketing Manager
Data or content management may not be something we give much thought to until it’s absolutely necessary. Often times, litigation or corporate policy updates will create a demand to search and retain important documents. When that happens, seemingly overnight the task of searching, tagging and organizing data can become overwhelming. Suddenly, data retention and management is much, much more than just an exercise in ever-expanding storage needs.
Most of us fall into one of two categories when it comes to data retention and management:
A: Ruthless. You send every email, document, photo, meme, file, and folder straight to the Information Abyss without much thought. Clutter is a Four-Letter-Word, and you WILL NOT, under any circumstances, waste money and time on storage for loads of files and data that will just sit. And sit. And sit. Most of it won’t ever be seen by human eyes again. Here’s to you, Master of the Recycle Bin! While your drives and servers may be minimal and clear of all but the most important files, you also run the risk of obliterating a key peace of content that, one day, you may regret slam-dunking into the proverbial digital circular file.
B: Uber Cautious. You wouldn’t hit the DELETE button if your life depended on it. For you, unlike the Masters of the Recycle Bin, DELETE is the Four-Letter-Word, and the thought of risking your job, career, or business because you deleted a file or document that just MIGHT be needed someday… well let’s just say that you’re better off safe than sorry, and the cost of storing all of that Content Clutter is small in comparison with the false sense of security you get from hanging on to Every. Single. Email. Ever.
Let’s face it. In the corporate world, most of us will fall into the B category listed above. After all, data storage is just a necessary evil, and it’s better to NOT be the person that tossed out that key email, file, or document that is suddenly in-demand as part of an e-discovery process.
Regardless of how you feel about data retention, what to keep and what to toss, here is the good news—there are strategies, systems and technology that help make email management, records management, and data management a snap. This strategy is information governance.
Information governance, in simple terms, is a strategy for creating data policies that help determine what must be retained for legal purposes, what must be retained for business purposes, and what can be eliminated immediately or after an expiration date. Many large firms see almost immediate ROI as a result of the initial data analysis and cleanup process. These first steps are key to reducing the amount of data that needs to be managed. Give people the courage to hit delete by identifying and categorizing data using intelligent policies designed to protect the integrity of valuable information. This also reduces storage costs, and makes the most important data more usable going forward.
If protecting and maintaining the integrity of information and data is important to you, then designing and implementing sound information governance strategy and policies should be top of mind!