One of the last things a business owner probably thinks about is managing their companies’ stored data. Many companies have no policy regarding data storage and have files and records that span decades. While this is usually not an issue, excessive data storage can develop into some major headaches and additional costs.

All data stored by a company should be backed up. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a local server, workstation, or in the cloud. As data increases, the cost of backup and the time it takes to restore a full backup goes up. Keeping data to a minimum can save both money on a regular basis and time when there is an emergency requiring a full restore.

If your company stores data that has any personal identifiable information (PII), the number of records released if your storage is breached can impact your legal requirements for reporting and your liability in the breach. Keeping PII to a minimum by deleting records that are no longer needed can help reduce your companies’ exposure in a data breach.

For companies that still implement physical or cloud servers, keeping the data you store low can reduce the cost of new hardware and/or the monthly cost of cloud storage. It can also reduce the labor for projects that require moving the data to a new location.

Having a documented process in place from the beginning is always the best way to keep data bloat to a minimum. However, there is no better time than the present to start the process and get back on track with controlling your companies’ data.