“The best way to reduce the amount of data — delete it.” — Sheila Childs, Research Vice President, Gartner
Data is growing at unprecedented rates, yet the processes for communicating exactly what amongst this information glut is essential to the business haven’t kept pace with the complexity and volume of the changing landscape. As the gap between the value of information and its associated costs and risks continues to expand, companies must get serious about improving their information economics.
Adopting an Information Lifecycle Governance (ILG) approach is central to achieving success with information economics. By following a proven roadmap of ILG tools and processes, organizations can foster the transparency that aids in the defensible disposal of excessive data. By getting rid of unnecessary data debris, everyone wins. Business users will gain optimal value from corporate information assets, IT and legal departments will be able to maintain tighter controls over costs, and organizations greatly lower their overall exposure to risk.
The value proposition around information economics is all the more crucial today given that data is pouring in from virtually every corner of the organization, in a variety of formats–from social media, email, and video content to e-commerce and other Web-based transactions. While some of the incoming data can be parlayed into insights that facilitate more effective decision making, the lion’s share of organizational content carries substantial risk without delivering measurable benefit to the business.
The numbers paint a telling picture: Only 1% of enterprise information is subject to legal hold, 5% is related to regulatory record keeping, and 25% has real business utility. So what about the remaining 69% of the information deluge? It is of questionable value to the organization, yet storing and managing the information greatly escalates costs and increases an organization’s exposure to a variety of risks. As a result, companies have little to gain—and actually much more to lose–by indiscriminately holding onto data simply because of their inability to properly link actual demand for it to an ever-widening reservoir of information assets.
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