Data hoarding is becoming a costly problem for enterprises. Compounding the issue is the difficulty of slowing down the data gathering. Part of the problem is that data gathering is easier than ever — and that information often comes in handy for marketing or product planning. Enterprises do not want to risk throwing out valuable information. Yet, the same data that sits with the hopes of someday becomes a handy marketing tool can collect dust, hog space and slow your corporate IT systems. So what to get rid of and what to keep?
The Best Information to Save
The Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council, a forum comprised of more than 1,900 information management professionals, predicts that information hoarding costs enterprises thousands or millions of dollars annually in unneeded infrastructure and storage costs. Add to that cost the possibility of legal fees for reviewing documents that should have been discarded. The most recent CGOC survey recommends enterprises should archive 2-3 percent of their data for legal purposes, 5-10 percent for regulatory requirements, and 25 percent for business analysis.
Changing Data Saving Habits
With these strong recommendations, the challenge is incorporating data saving strategies into your corporate culture. Employees should prioritize their information into folders in their work drives. They designate folders for critical information and others for lesser important information. This will require an enterprise to review with employees specific data that needs to be saved to meet legal and regulatory requirements for their particular industry. The enterprise IT department can scan and store tapes according to industry regulations that stipulate the number of years required for data storage.
The Cloud Provides Another Data Storage Option
Increasingly, we are seeing data storage solutions that sit outside of corporate hardware, freeing up space for IT operations. Object-oriented cloud storage involves storing files on an internet server instead of on a local drive. The attraction is that your system operates independently from your stored data and that stored data is accessible across multiple devices, as long as Internet access is available. The technology comes with concerns — namely security. However, cloud storage providers increasingly are offering a hybrid public and private option, depending on your business needs.
To address security concerns, research the cloud provider and its security policies. Depending on your industry, there may be specific privacy policies you must adhere to. Research them and if necessary, make sure your cloud storage solution is encrypted and you have designated in-house personnel that can decrypt it. On your side, you can ensure your browser uses an encrypted connection before uploading or downloading data. Also research the number of people that can share access to your online folders. Most information can be set to read only and those that allow other users to change a file document and notify other users of changes. Boston University provides more tips on cloud data storage here.
Luckily, the novelty of gathering information and analytics has been followed by innovative data storing technologies. Careful corporate planning and effectively training employees can reduce the amount of data your enterprise saves and free up your systems to take care of the business at hand.
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