One of the less addressed areas of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) is the Information Life cycle Management (ILM). If you think about it Life cycle management touches key business areas especially regulated industries like financial services. IT is concerned with managing storage, application performance issues due to large volumes of accumulated historical data and the backup / recovery window for meeting SLA requirements to name a few.
Not too long ago I was part of a strategy development for the storage group of a large Insurance company. They were approaching Life cycle management from purely storage cost savings perspective. Their business case was we can save so much money by just moving some of the historical data from expensive SAN storage to a second tier cheap storage. As part of the business case we pointed out that they are keeping much more historical data than the regulatory need of 7 years.
The issue is not even the cost savings from storage swap, but the exposure of the company in case of litigation. The rule is, If the company has the data, they have to produce in times of litigation. Just by purging the data they can manage potential risk from the litigation. In fact they just came out of a freeze from purging due to earlier litigation and had to maintain well over 10 years of data.
The point is that it is not just an IT specific storage or operational issue but it is a business issue. The key point here is we are dealing with Information issue which affects Business directly. Needless to say we ended up giving several more direct and indirect cost savings for embarking on an ILM initiative.
To complete the story, the storage team did act strategically and brought the business to the table so that they can forge unified Information Life cycle Management strategy.