Taming BIG Data: Taking Back Control, Part 3 – Retention

Tech group

The technical workgroup members are responsible for:

  • Assessing the direct and indirect cost of relevant solutions (e.g., storage, processing, resources, BCP, etc.); and
  • Defining a data element cost model.

The technical integrated workgroup members are responsible for understanding the cost of existing retention infrastructure and defining a cost model for changes to the infrastructure. Areas to explore to more clearly understand the retention cost drivers may include the cost of storage, supporting systems and resources.

Alternative storage solutions pricing may be compiled at this point to help the company determine the changes in the infrastructure to move the company to the most efficient technical standard. Other areas to explore include reviewing the disaster recovery plans, business continuity plans, and security plans.

Leveraging the information collected in these areas, the team can create a model (with help from finance) to better assess how changes in requirements will directly affect the retention cost.

Program management

The EIM program management workgroup members are responsible for:

  • Identifying the best team for this phase of the program;
  • Developing the facilitated session agendas and outcomes; and
  • Finalizing the specific deliverables (e.g., information retention model, value proposition for data retention, supporting policies and procedures, project recommendations).

The EIM representatives are responsible for finding the right mix of resources to meet the objectives of this phase. Along with creating facilitated sessions, it may also be necessary to create cross functional sub-groups (e.g., financial analyst and technical manager) who can work together to come up with a good cost model for the company. Most important, these members are responsible for setting clear goals and expectations and presenting the integrated workgroup recommendations to the governance council.

Specific deliverables of this phase may include: information retention model, value proposition for data retention, data element cost model, recommended project list.

All members of the integrated workgroup are authors of the specified deliverables. Thus, each member has to allocate the appropriate time to review and approve the documents accuracy that reflects the findings of the team. All workgroup members confirm that the documents reflect the findings of the workgroup (not individual preferences). The workgroup is acting in accordance with specific instructions provided by the governance council.

Once the recommendations are finalized and presented to the governance council, decisions will be made in the best interest of the company, all things considered, not in the interest of one individual or department. A successful outcome is producing high quality deliverables and recommendations for the company.

As the data retention phase is completed, there is usually a noticeable cultural shift, i.e., more collaboration between the functional and technical resource groups. This cultural shift is proof of the organization’s information management capability maturing and readies the company for the next phase, determining the availability of the information assets.

Stephen Boschulte MBA, PMP, CISSP, is a senior information management strategist. He has over 14 years’ experience working with more than 20 Fortune 500 companies and small organizations. Mr. Boschulte is the author of “A Practical Guide for Implementing an EIM Program” and can be reached at [email protected].