The diminishing returns of storing unneeded data

White paper from Kahn Consulting makes a case for disposing of data in a "defensible" way.

We're told incessantly that data is a strategic asset, but it really isn't of any value if the volume impedes employees' ability to locate what they need when they need it. A newly released white paper from Kahn Consulting argues that too many organizations hold onto old data that offers no value, and they are unable or unwilling to get rid of it.

With the growth of data comes the law of diminishing returns, the Chicago-based consulting group argues in "The Case for Defensible Disposal," which was sponsored by Viewpointe. With rising regulatory pressure on data storage practices, compliance is becoming "a complex and critical high-risk business issue that only executive management can truly fix," the group maintains. It isn't reasonable to expect employees to decide what data to keep and what data to discard. What is required now is high-level enterprise governance strategies combined with technological solutions.

"In most companies, there is no clear path to classify electronic records, let alone apply retention schedules to all enterprise information or ensure the ultimate destruction of this information," the authors write. "There are vast stores of legacy data that are unclassified and most data is never touched again within a short time after its creation. Further, traditional records retention rules are too voluminous, too complex and too granular to manage the volume of information today that requires enterprise retention policies."

In the past, business records were destroyed in due course, but lately companies have followed a "save-everything" approach. To avoid being buried under one's own data, companies need to once again learn how to dispose of data, using a defensible strategy.

For more:
- see the Kahn Consulting white paper

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