Some companies face the prospect of archiving electronic documents for very long periods of time – up to 100 years, for regulatory or business reasons. For example, construction companies involved in large projects, bridges, dams, skyscrapers, airports, etc., must keep all documents related to the project for the actual construction period plus 30, 50, 100 years (varies depending on state and local government regulations). As well, the records must be quickly searchable and readable over those same periods.
With the recent ransomware attacks that have been in the headlines over the last year, many companies are reconsidering their data protection strategies to protect their company against these new, growing threats.
Every day corporate employees beg for more enterprise share drive capacity, to store work documents, backups, internet research, etc. All while demanding their aging, low-touch files not be deleted from those same corporate file shares.
This week I spoke with Alan Dayley, Gartner Research Director, and the topic of conversation was the management of “stale” data. “Every customer I speak with has a potential problem with managing stale data,” said Alan Dayley. Stale data usually consists of end user files that for various reasons become less valuable to the end user, for example at the end of a project or simply due to age. However, many of these files can remain or become more valuable to the organization because of the intellectual property or other sensitive data they can contain (figure one). Stale data is usually found on user desktops, file shares, and just about anywhere else files are stored.