Sunday, 29 September 2013

Retention policy - a fundamental principle

There are a lot of annoying things in life you naturally expect - like taxes, bad television and crime. But I did not expect such vehemence about a recent article I wrote about the value of data and the conflict of interest it has with cloud providers.

It seems there is a ground swell of opinion in the technology area that all data should be retained, as valuing it and prioritising it is too hard to do. Furthermore, these people (often cloud providers) could not see the harm in keeping all their data indefinitely.

There are some very good reasons why you should be scrapping data on a regular basis, and here they are:

1.  It will save you money
2.  It will make you compliant with regulation
3.  It will improve the trust with your suppliers and the general public
4.  As reality changes, your data will degrade in quality over time until it is little more than useless.

But the most important reason is something a little more fundamental. People have a right to make mistakes and have them forgiven and forgotten. People also have the right to change their opinions and image. They have the right to reinvent themselves and move on. If we cannot discard what did not work, how can we move on in a healthy and positive manner?

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