Data retention, compliance and the storage budget
Which one do you blow first?
Experts Compliance. Was there ever a word to strike such terror into the heart of the average techie? (OK, “Audit”. But don’t blame us, we didn’t want to say it…)
Juggling the often conflicting requirements of your budget and compliance is enough to give anyone a headache. So help us out with a question, if you would be so good.
Email, as you know, clogs up your storage boxes like nothing else. And if your policy is “hang on to it, you never know when you might need it” you could find yourself buying storage like it is going out of fashion. But is any other policy safe?
To sum up: Data retention is an increasingly complicated area. How do you make sure you are covered, without blowing your storage budget?
If you have some useful thoughts, please share them in the comments. If you don’t have any ideas, perhaps you’ll vote for the comments you think are best. We’ll be in touch with the “winner” to get a more in depth view.
Think you can help? Get thee to the comments…
Am I the only one thinking that pastebins are the future?
Agree with most of these comments. Specific requirements depend on your location, and business area.
For us archiving was as much a way of storing business information for posterity. We have used email for less than ten years and as a 180 year old historic institution we are very interested in maintaining a record for future access.
Others here in the states try to reduce the term of storage in line with policy to limit liability (to limit the cost of potential legal discovery requirements). But we just have it all.
When we moved to a SaaS vendor, the required extra storage only costs an extra $25/mo. ...We are a small company!
I will say that not all SaaS archiving services are alike. Our first try was a disaster - which I bailed out of to a larger vendor with competitve pricing. It gets us top notch spam filtering as well. I couldn't be happier.
First decide "what", then "how"...
Agree with comments on getting a policy right first - but make certain that you specify sufficient granularity that there is NO UNCERTAINTY about "what" you have to keep (and for how long).
Interesting hacks, which are often overlooked delves into the treatment of "drafts" and other "not final" work. Get yourself some Legal advice - you may find that your specific retention obligation may only be for the FINAL database, report, etc. and trashing the interim work product, in addition to reducing your storage requirements, actually reduces your "legal risk". (YMMV).
Oh, periodically its worth going back and making certain that folks are being space constrained and only keeping EXACTLY what is required. There is a natural tendency for folks to cover their asses and "packrat" everything. Incentivise folks to manage their storage allocations by making public the storage amounts and make a fuss of those who improve the most...