Businesses should draw a hard line between business-critical data and operational data for day-to-day use, according to HP's director of enterprise data protection, Scott Baker.
Baker was speaking on today's Computing web seminar 'Dealing with the hoarder next door - a more intelligent storage strategy for a more agile business.'
Reports suggest that about 10 per cent of all digital data is read more than once and, while some files need to be kept for audit or compliance purposes, almost 90 per cent may be clutter.
Baker suggested that the first steps an organisation should take to ensure that their IT infrastructure is not being choked is to commit time and resources to the project, and categorise all the data sets.
"The first would be business- and mission-critical data that the business has to have access to. The second would be operational data: the data you need on a day-to-day basis to work with, which if you lost would be troublesome but not stop the organisation from operating. And the third category would be the archive and legacy data," he said.
When considering where to place the data, Baker commented: "You have to think about the probability that you're going to reuse that data." The more likely you are to reuse the data, the higher the importance of the data.
Baker acknowledged that there are subcategories within the three main categories, but that these should not be decided when a business first attempts to clear clutter from their IT infrastructure.
"If you take them as three distinct categories your chances of getting through the process becomes a lot easier. The moment you start introducing subcategories, you hang on to things a lot longer," he said.
But he urged companies to draw a hard line between the different categories.
"You have to identify what is truly mission-critical and separate that from the operational category. You have to ask whether you will fail in your support of the organisation as a whole, and if so, that's your indication that it belongs in that business-critical category. You have to take a hard line and not allow content to flow through the categories," he said.