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This comprehensive case study outlines the successful implementation of a Defensible Disposal Project by Arrayo at a client that is a prominent US-based financial services company with a global reach and presence. In executing this project, we focused on four critical areas: email deletion, legacy paper records, backup tapes/virtual backup, and unstructured content on network drives. The client’s commitment to reducing risks and costs through this initiative helped us realize substantial savings and enhanced compliance with data management regulations for the client.
The client recognized the need to optimize its records management, privacy, and information governance practices. To address this, Arrayo embarked on a Defensible Disposal Project, encompassing four primary areas: email deletion, legacy paper records, backup tapes/virtual backup, and unstructured content on network drives. This project aimed to mitigate risks, cut operational costs, and ensure compliance with evolving data protection regulations.
To execute this ambitious undertaking, we established a working committee responsible for reviewing and approving strategies, overseeing exceptions, and receiving regular updates throughout the project’s lifecycle. This collaborative approach ensured transparency and accountability at every stage.
The Defensible Disposal Project was guided by a systematic approach tailored to each of the four key areas: email deletion, legacy paper records, backup tapes/virtual backup, and unstructured content on network drives. Here’s an overview of the high-level strategies employed in each area:
Objective: Efficiently manage and dispose of outdated and redundant emails to reduce storage costs and mitigate risks.
Objective: Digitize and dispose of paper records to minimize storage costs, enhance accessibility, and reduce risks associated with physical records.
Objective: Rationalize the creation and storage of backup data to reduce storage costs while maintaining data recoverability and regulatory compliance.
Objective: Organize, categorize, and dispose of unstructured data to improve data accessibility, reduce storage costs, and enhance data security.
Data Inventory: Conduct an inventory of unstructured data on network drives, categorizing it based on relevance and sensitivity.
Data Classification: Apply/develop data classification schemes to categorize data into tiers based on its importance, retention requirements, security classification, etc.
Retention Policies: Apply establish retention policies for each data category identified as a record, specifying when data can be safely deleted. This includes the moving of records to an official repository.
Deletion Policies: Establish criteria for identifying data that can be deleted, data that should be revised for deletion, and data that should be maintained to support operational needs excluding/in addition to record retention requirements.
Automated Data Cleanup: Utilize data management tools to automate the identification and deletion of redundant or obsolete files.
User Training: Educate employees about data management best practices and their role in maintaining an organized and compliant data environment.
These high-level approaches provided our client with a structured framework to address each key area effectively, resulting in substantial cost savings, risk reduction, and enhanced compliance throughout their Defensible Disposal Project.
The Defensible Disposal Project yielded impressive results for our client. In the area of email deletion, the company saved $360,000 in the first year alone and is projected to realize cumulative savings of $5,500,000 by year 5. The project was completed within a reasonable time frame of 2 years, considering the scale of operations within the organization.
The disposing of legacy paper records, often overlooked but a significant cost factor, saw savings of $5,000 in the first year and an estimated $2,100,000 by year 5. The relatively short completion time of 6 months to develop and implement the approach underscores the efficiency of Arrayo’s approach. Additional time was needed for storage vendors to complete the secure destruction of the inventory.
The cleanup of Backup tapes/virtual backup, crucial for data recovery and compliance, witnessed savings of $235,000 in the first year and an estimated $1,600,000 by year 5 for our client. Again, the project’s timely completion, including vendor collaboration, reflects Arrayo’s efforts to optimize the client’s processes. Additional time was needed for vendors to complete the secure destruction of physical inventory (tapes, platters, etc.).
Unstructured content on network drives, an area prone to information sprawl, saved an impressive $737,000 in year one and is expected to result in a cumulative savings of $3,700,000 by year 5. Despite the complexity of managing unstructured data, the project strategy and framework was developed and implemented within one year, including the soft deletion of data. Full deletion was completed within an additional year. This approach balanced the need/desire to delete stale data efficiently, while also including buffers to allow for the reclamation of data potentially deleted prematurely. It also demonstrates Arrayo’s expertise in and our client’s dedication to proper information governance.
In the end, Arrayo’s delivery of the Defensible Disposal Project serves as a compelling case study for organizations seeking to enhance their records management, privacy, and information governance practices. By strategically addressing email deletion, legacy paper records, backup tapes/virtual backup, and unstructured content, Arrayo helped the client not only reduce costs but also bolster its compliance with data protection, record retention, and privacy regulations. The collaborative approach of the working committee and meticulous project management were pivotal in achieving these impressive results.
This case study underscores the value of proactive records management and defensible disposal practices, showcasing how organizations can substantially reduce risks and operational costs while ensuring regulatory compliance. Our client’s journey serves as a testament to the benefits of embracing modern information governance strategies, ultimately leading to long-term sustainability and success in today’s dynamic business landscape.