Though digital ROT won’t give off unwanted odours, it’s can be challenging to address. The good news is if it’s dealt with effectively, your organization will become more productive. And, you will be able to mitigate legal, privacy and regulatory risks more efficiently.
But let’s start from the beginning, what exactly is ROT?
What is ROT ?
ROT stands for redundant, obsolete, and trivial and refers to all the data that clogs up an organization’s file shares and email servers without adding any business value. Breaking these concepts down further, we get into the specifics.
This is essentially duplicated data. Think of the terabytes of email attachments and multiple versions of the same documents that exist across your enterprise.
Obsolete data includes data that is both “old” and data that has not been modified in a very long time. Generally obsolete data is deemed to have limited strategic value with more risk than reward.
Trivial data is that which is simply no longer required – it has little importance or value. Trivial data can typically be identified by file extension (e.g. “.tmp” or “.log” files for example), keywords (e.g “draft”), path or by file size.
Why is finding ROT important?
ROT is context specific and will look different to different organizations. But regardless of its form, the value of finding ROT is universal.
- Fundamentally, there is a financial cost to storage, and ROT grows quickly (which means organizations spend more money month over month, year over year)
- Not identifying ROT means it takes longer to find the files or emails that are important for productivity and ROT can muddy search results
- It’s risky to keep ROT around, as it may contain:
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
- Intellectual property
- Legal liabilities
- And may exist outside of secured storage, leaving it exposed to risk (like hackers, etc.)
I’ve found my ROT, now what?
You’ve employed a solution to help you find your ROT, now the real work begins.
Once your ROT has been found, decisions need to be made around how to manage it, which is not as straightforward as you’d think.
Getting rid of files, even when they’re ROT[ten], is challenging. Being responsible for the decision to eliminate documents en masse is stressful. That’s why you need to trust the accuracy of your data to make the right decision to de-risk your data.
We understand first hand how challenging ROT identification and remediation can be. Learn how we can help with Shinydocs trusted ROT Cleanup solution.