Bernstein Data Knows the Importance of Reducing Expenses and Managing Complexity.
As an organization’s information grows, the costs and efforts associated with storing it – on paper and electronically – become significant and burdensome. Lack of data management also impacts operational efficiency: locating information becomes difficult and time-consuming.
Reducing Costs and Operating Efforts
Retaining information that is no longer needed is costly for several key reasons:
- Personal information retained is vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack should a breach occur, with substantial post-breach costs incurred.
- There is more to churn through in discovery efforts, which increases time spent searching and the cost.
- It takes employees longer to find what they are looking for as part of their daily workload, decreasing operational efficiency.
- Storage costs will increase for both digital and physical records and information.
More companies today are using cloud-based storage solutions; the global market is expected to record 23% growth annually until 2026. It is estimated that cloud-storage fees represent only two-thirds of the total storage cost. Other ancillary costs include storage-related operations, data transfer, network activity, data backup, data security, and data management. The total cost of storing 1 Petabyte (1,000 Terabytes) of data could exceed $1.0 million over five years. Even if cloud-stored data does not qualify for deletion, moving it to a lower-performance cloud tier can reduce costs. On-prem data storage is usually more expensive than the cloud, so reducing on-prem storage volumes can provide even greater cost savings. Storage costs for physical records can build over time, eventually amounting to millions of dollars spent annually preserving information that quite possibly is no longer needed.
Keeping Only Required Information
To reduce storage costs and risks, and improve data access, Data Minimization is a key Information Governance strategy and preventative practice to limit the amount of data that is retained across an organization. The challenge is knowing what data can be deleted without compromising compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and holds for tax or legal purposes.
Data that is redundant, obsolete and/or trivial (sometimes referred to as ROT) can be a focus because it has little value but potentially great risk and cost. An expert in retention and disposal policies and procedures can help mitigate risks of retaining records and information longer than needed to meet regulatory obligations and/or run the business.
In a recent defensible disposal project for a company with 30,000 employees, we estimated that 30% of the digital data could be deleted without negative consequences.
Enabling Smarter Transitions
Technology transitions, such as decommissioning a software application, migrating between applications, or moving from local storage to the cloud, are critical junctures for decision-making about data storage and data minimization. The more data being moved, the greater the challenge, complexity, and expense.
It is difficult to fully decommission applications and infrastructure, and realize related benefits, without critically reviewing the data being retained. Companies should take advantage of a technology transition as an opportunity to first analyze and trim their records and information. Why simply move years of accumulated, ungoverned, “data junk” or ROT to the new application?
Migrating to the Cloud: Shifting Before Lifting
“Lift and shift” is a commonly used information management strategy when applications and associated data are transferred. Unfortunately, the data is usually “lifted” – moved to a new application or platform without being “shifted” – it is not analyzed, classified, and deleted. Problems or deficiencies are just “kicked down the road” into the future. And data is rarely cleaned up afterwards. A better approach is “shift and lift” – taking the opportunity of a transition to manage and separate the necessary and mandated from the extraneous and outdated. Decide what can be disposed and archived, only moving and maintaining what is utilized regularly.
Across your organization, there are many reasons to carefully evaluate Information Governance practices and corresponding opportunities to reduce costs and risks while increasing efficiency.
Bernstein Data Solutions
- Business Procedures to Meet IG Requirements – Business-unit IG procedures, including the development and maintenance of records and personal data inventories.
- Processes to Facilitate Data Disposal – Processes to support and assure the disposal of information that is no longer required, especially personal data.
- Identify Internally Hosted Data – Strategy-based processes, with accompanying technology, to identify records and personal data in existing data stores, applications, and business tools.
- Technology to Store and Archive Data – Enterprise Archiving solutions that enable the proper retention and disposal of information, including messaging, voice, structured and unstructured data.
- Records Management Training – Mandatory RM training for new hires and annual recurrent training for existing employees; stand-alone or module within company training syllabus. Includes RM examples.
Solutions are built from a comprehensive set of Information Governance capabilities utilizing our proprietary IG Operating Framework. Click to view a key set of solutions and capabilities.
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