In preparing my presentation for the Data Governance Conference on Unstructured Data Management, I am thinking how a great deal of the focus seems to be on tagging unstructured data (email, documents) with expiration dates to help manage the huge and geometrically growing volumes of unstructured data. Attention seems to be so much more on managing the end of the life cycle of unstructured data than it does with structured data.
In my experience, too, the goal of the legal department seems to be in eliminating as much data in the organization as possible. This appears counter intuitive – since most people’s interaction with the legal department is when they tell us not to delete anything. But, legal departments would prefer for the organization to have policies that remove old documents and email altogether so that when asked by a court to produce documents they can say that company policy is to get rid of documents of that age (with specific exceptions including what an organization is legally required to retain) and not have to embark on an expensive search project. If the documents requested are within the company policy for retention, then Legal wants them organized for efficient search and retrieval.