As more and more information is stored in an electronic format, where it can theoretically exist forever, companies are now being confronted with a new set of challenges as to how that information should be created, used, stored, and ultimately destroyed. It is no longer acceptable to let employees manage records or destroy information on a schedule of their choosing and as they see fit. Companies must develop unified data management policies and follow those policies strictly, or risk encountering a number of problems. Excessive data retention and ad-hoc data management not only increase potential costs in litigation and regulatory investigations, but also consume resources in the normal course of business operations – for example, maintenance costs for electronic and physical storage are directly related to the volume of data being stored. In addition, productivity suffers when the sheer volume of stored material creates inefficiencies in searching for and retrieving relevant records. The following provides a number of pointers on how to develop an effective data management policy that maximizes efficient use of information, minimizes storage costs and limits the potential for sanctions or other adverse consequences in the event of litigation or government investigation.

Source: Electronic Discovery & Data Management Task Force
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