When all your data lives in the cloud, it can be easy just to keep everything. Its not like you have filing cabinets filling up and towers of paper taking over everybodys desks. But just because you can keep something doesnt mean that you should and retaining appropriate data disposal practices in the virtual environment is just as important as in the physical environment.
The amount of data is ever growing some estimate that 99% of the worlds data has been created in the past three years as we increasingly document the day to day minutiae of our lives through our smartphones and social media, interact with our friends and businesses online, and sign up for endless emails that we never actually read. Combined with this increase in the amount of data is the lowering cost of storage gigabytes of cloud storage come free with your online email account, hard drives that store terabytes of data cost less than your weekly grocery bill, and costs continue to fall.
In the face of this environment, many businesses have taken the approach of thinking well, its not really costing us anything to store it, so we might as well just keep it. And its true that many documents and records do need to be kept for varying periods of time to meet compliance requirements. But this doesnt mean that you should keep everything.
All businesses should have a data retention and destruction schedule for both physical and electronic documents and data. Document management processes and ongoing staff training are essential requirements for all businesses. After all, the more you are storing, the more you can potentially lose and you want to know that in the event of a system failure or disaster recovery that you are only having to restore documents that you truly need.
For advice on creating a robust document storage and destruction policy, contact us today.