The June 30, 2011, The Economist covers a story about “Too Much Information” and “How to cope with data overload.” At a minimum that means the folks across the pond are also realizing at some point too much data is a bad thing. The business world is at the place where we are over run with digital stuff and it is now taking away a competitive advantage, negatively impacting customer response times and impacting our ability to be the nimble business machine honed to win.
I have been writing about this topic for years but now it is at a point that business executives need to act. We have more technologies making more content with or without our involvement 24-7. Data volume nearly double every year and we couldn’t manage last year’s stuff efficiently. It only gets harder and something has to give. The real answer is not building bigger clouds of storage stacks. We can’t keep everything forever and there must be a prudent way to make wheat/chaff decisions about what should exist and what can be disposed of.
Three things you need to think to do right now:
1. Develop a team to start to clean up the past. Existing data needs to go away according to law and policy now.
2. Better decisions need to be made about what comes into existence. Not everything needs to be retained.
3. Directives that stop the wheels of progress due to FUD (Fear,Uncertainty and Doubt)should not rule the day. Fight the lawyer’s shotgun approach to preservation. For example, if back up tapes are recycled regularly don’t stop that process if a lawsuit if filed, unless required to.
Get your information house in order. Your business depends on it.