Factors to Consider When Developing a Data Retention Policy for Your Business
Important note: The information presented below is simply “food for thought” and should not be considered legal advice in any form.
Every company should have an electronic data retention policy which is documented. Also, it is important to consider the long-term consequences of implementing a data retention policy. Questions to consider when formulating a data retention policy include:
Why is your company archiving data?
What type of data are you storing?
Are you concerned that your servers are running low on space?
Or is it sometimes difficult to locate data in your system?
Are you backing up your data regularly?
The first consideration for data retention is always regulatory compliance. This determines what information your company is required to retain (and for how long) by law. Consult your legal advisors and make sure you fully understand what you need to do to remain in compliance.
The next step in the process would be to identify which data needs to remain live and immediately accessible and which data can be archived. Often, the age of the data is not the singular factor when determining “where” the data should be stored. Keep in mind when the data was last accessed or the type of data and how it is used. For instance, if your company sells children’s clothes, it is easy to identify which data would remain live (customer name, shipping address) and which data would be archived at some point (the size and color of the blanket sleeper purchased last Christmas). In short, it is much more effective to base a retention policy on the last access date rather than the file creation date.
With cloud-based storage, organizations can enjoy seamless, scalable storage. At RenovoData, we employ a multi-tiered storage system which means you pay less to store archived or seldom accessed data. All of your data is backed up, with no need to delete for purposes of “making room” on the server. Our plan grows with your business needs. We also have the capacity of storing many thousand copies of each file. This ability becomes crucial for companies recovering from a data loss event – whether from natural disaster, power outage, or data corruption (viruses, malware, etc.).
The effort that your company puts into developing a data retention policy now will be rewarded as your business continues to grow and navigate any obstacles which may arise in the future.