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Data Hoarding – Why You Should Stop Holding On To All Your Data

Data hoarding can be just as bad as document hoarding, if not worse.

Data hoarding may have become cheaper as digital storage prices become cheaper and cheaper. Nonetheless, there can be costly ramifications for those who practice data hoarding.

While for many businesses it may seem like a good idea to hold on to all the data they generate and collect in case it is needed, the truth is it is increasing their risk.

4 Areas Where Data Hoarding Can Increase Your Company’s Risk Exposure and Costs

Speed of Access to Information

In the digital age, having vast amounts of information easily accessible at our fingertips can be a real boon. Nevertheless, it is also a double-edged sword.

Excess data can make finding and using relevant data that much more difficult. Whether it is creating personalised customer experiences or digging in to marketing and sales performance measurements, too much data can slow you down and reduce accuracy.

Increasing Data Storage Costs

Yes, data storage has become cheaper. A quick look at current hard drive prices per Terabyte compared to a few years ago will confirm that.

But that does not mean data hoarding is not costly. Both large and small organisations generate huge amounts of data each year and year after year, it adds up. Not only does it make day-to-day storage more costly, but it also makes backups more costly.

Even if the data storage costs do not seem overboard, there is another cost to consider. Data management costs money and the more data you have the more you will have to manage.

How Data Hoarding Increases Legal & Regulatory Risk and Cost

Many companies hold on to all kinds of data. From company data to staff personal data and even internal emails that could contain damaging or embarrassing information.

Why hold on to all this data? If it does not need to be kept to comply with regulations and it has no value to the company then there is no need to keep it.

In fact, should your company be dragged into legal proceedings, even where your company is not directly part of the matter, this hoarded data could end up damaging the company’s or its employees reputation.

Not to mention the amount of time and money that will get wasted by having to comply with court orders to supply the data, which, as mentioned did not legally need to be kept in the first place.

Data Hoarding Significantly Increases Cyber Risk

While the advent of electronic data storage and creation has taken business to new heights, it has also increased the risk of cyber-attacks.

Electronic data is far more accessible than paper documents and while this has obvious benefits, it also makes it much easier for criminals to steal vast quantities of data quickly.

Data hoarding adds unnecessary risk. Why expose data to criminals that could be used against the company and its employees. Those funny or slightly embarrassing internal emails from a Christmas party 5 years ago could prove to be very costly to someone’s reputation and even lead to legal action.

No one likes to clean out their computer files. It is a long tedious process and for some, it probably feels more like pulling fingernails with pliers.
Figuring out what to keep and what not to keep is a challenge but it is still better than the risks and costs that can arise by failing to manage your digital files properly.

Iron Mountain are experts at data storage and digital records management. For assistance with smarter more cost-effective data management contact us today.


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