Earlier this year, my wife and I moved into a new home here in Charlotte. Before we moved, we made a concerted effort to spend time cleaning out and decluttering things that we had accumulated over the years but no longer wanted or needed to keep. Having moved several times as an adult, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve moved the same boxes from house to house (some of those boxes haven’t been opened or unpacked in years!). Decluttering for me isn’t an enjoyable exercise, but we felt it was important to do it before moving, otherwise, we’d have been paying good money just to move things that would end up in storage in our new home.
You’re probably thinking “How does this all tie back to content and records management?” I think many organizations can apply similar thinking to how they manage content as they look to migrate from older, antiquated content repositories to newer, cloud-based systems.
The reality is that many organizations tend to keep documents just in case they need them in the future – and this has been made easier by the availability of cheap on-prem storage. For companies that haven’t yet implemented an information lifecycle governance strategy, the task can seem daunting. Where do I start? How much is it going to cost? Who is going to pay for it? There is a real financial impact to moving billions of documents (often representing terabytes or petabytes of storage) into a cloud-based system where you are paying based on actual storage.
So what should an organization do when facing this situation:
- Analyze what you have before you migrate. If possible, perform automated content classification to identify ROT (Redundant, Outdated, Trivial) content.
- Look at applying records retention rules based on your own internal rules and/or any applicable regulatory requirements
- For the content that you do need to move, identify which content needs to be readily available vs. which content can go to archive storage. For example, AWS has different storage tiers (e.g. S3 Standard, S3 Glacier, S3 Glacier Deep Archive, etc.). The other major cloud vendors have similar storage tiers and pricing.
While I’ve got your attention – please check out a thought piece that my colleague Eric Walk wrote called The Demise of the Document that discusses how we envision the future of data and content.