This summer, I wrote about defensible deletion gaining steam, as evidenced by questions being asked by many consulting clients and new vendor offerings aimed at allowing companies to get rid of unnecessary information. Then recently, I read Barclay Blair’s article in LTN about the clash brewing between Big Data and eDiscovery protocols. The title of Barclay’s article insinuates that two camps have formed – those that want to keep all data forever and simply analyze and those that want to defensibly delete and lower risk. Thankfully, the article goes on to suggest that both of these things can happen in parallel.
What Barclay’s article calls out is that “Big Data advocates argue that the economies of scale now make it feasible and desirable to capture and store information that currently has no clear or definable business value” while “risk and cost of information in [eDiscovery] is undeniable, and is correlated to the overall volume of information in the organization.” The point is that this could lead to a cultural battle. eDiscovery is not exactly a top-of-mind concern of all business executives. I have never heard a VP of Marketing argue for the deletion of social media content because it might be costly to review in litigation; rather, most marketers would prefer more content to analyze for sentiment.
What happens in practice for most organizations? Anecdotal information suggests that defensible deletion occurs for some information, but not all. In last summer’s information governance survey, for example, 52% of respondents indicated that their organizations actively expired email content. For other data sources (e.g. file shares, social media, ECM repositories), however, there were never more than 35% of respondents noting defensible deletion happening. I believe defensible deletion is in its early days – many organizations have the goal of getting rid of unnecessary information, but few have the wherewithal to do it en masse.
We want to understand attitudes towards, and plans for, defensible deletion of enterprise information at a more detailed level. At a time when Big Data is all the rage and there is a large focus on business intelligence, it is also important to note that much enterprise information is superfluous and not worth the cost and risk of keeping it around. To that end, eDJ is conducting a defensible deletion survey. In return for completing this survey, eDJ Group will send you a complimentary summary of the data so that you can see how your attitudes compare with others’. This survey should take no more than five minutes to complete. Thank you for your time and support. You can find the survey here.