One aspect of an Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) project that often gets overlooked is deleting data. Once information has reached the end of its usefulness, delete it. It is the single-most cost effective task you can execute on an ILM project. If you don’t have the data, you don’t have to store it, manage it, or worry about it getting into the wrong hands. Delete it.
On an engagement I am working on, we are about to delete multi terabytes of database data. The initial business case has identified more than $2Million in hard-dollar savings in the first three years in the initial phase of the project. We calculated the savings based on the cost avoidance of storage acquisition and the amount of resources (both people and data center utilities) required to manage that data. When measuring the ILM project impact as a whole, we have tallied more than $50Million of projected savings based on changing people’s behavior on how information is managed over its lifetime. Information can be a company’s biggest asset, but if not appreciated for how volumes of information can impact a company, it can become its biggest cost.
There are a few steps you need to take before you can pull the data deletion trigger. Over the next few weeks, I will walk through a recent engagement on how we evaluated database data, categorized information based on Legal, Operational, and Business classifications, applied Records Retention Schedules, looked at every single copy of data, and then finally we are deleting data. If you are about to embark on a data deletion crusade in your company, please share your comments, questions, experiences. We look forward to hearing how you archive and purge!
Julie Lockner, President & Founder, CentricInfo