Why You Need A Data Retention Policy

What is the Purpose of a Data Retention Policy

Data retention policies are guiding principles that control how an organization manages its information. These policies assist in determining the purpose of data held, the rules and regulations that apply to it, the length of time it should be kept, and how it should be archived or deleted when the time comes.

A good data retention policy can help you stay in compliance with laws and regulations, cut costs, and aid in the organization of data. 

What Is Data Retention?

The storage and management of data acquired by an organization is known as data retention. It is the management of data throughout its lifecycle, from creation to deletion. Data is the most precious asset that modern businesses have. However, if not properly managed, shortcomings in data retention procedures could result in cost and compliance issues. To govern the lifecycle of an organization’s stored data, data retention policies are developed.

A data retention scheme is the set of policies and processes that govern how your company manages its information. It aims to offer an inventory of the data held, as well as identify how long data should be preserved and how data should be archived or deleted.

Why Is It Important?

Data retention is vital for a variety of reasons, both practical and legal. Data retention regulations, on the other hand, help to offer structure to a chaotic, dispersed, and crucial aspect of any company. A data retention policy can assist businesses in determining what data is retained where. Another practical consideration is that data does not always remain valuable. In truth, up to 70 percent of data kept by businesses has no legal or business value. Keeping so much useless data on hand is not just wasteful in storage space, but it’s also problematic from a legal standpoint. The longer an organization keeps a piece of data, the less valuable it becomes and the greater the risk it poses.

Why You Need A Data Retention Policy

A data retention policy, adds value. It accomplishes this mostly by lowering inefficiencies and removing deadwood from enterprise datastores. Organizations become better familiar with their data sources as a result of the process of developing a data retention policy. Redundancies may be discovered as a result of this method.

How To Create A Data Retention Policy

  • To begin, assemble a team that includes representatives from every department impacted by your data retention policies.
  • Sort your data according to your priorities. For firms and businesses with large amounts of communications and a virtual staff, email records, for example, will be a major item.
  • Similarly, determine which regulations govern your company and organize your data according to them. You’ll also need to consider the regulatory differences between markets.
  • Based on the reasons listed above, create a data retention policy. Make careful to define how long certain types of data will be retained, as well as whether the data will be archived or removed once the retention term has expired.
  • Assign trustworthy personnel the responsibility of managing and disposing of your data as data retention stewards.
  • Finally, devise a strategy for enforcing your data retention policy and ensure that all workers are aware of their responsibilities in maintaining data compliance and security.


A data retention policy is more than just a way to keep track of things. It’s crucial for making sure your data, staff communications, and storage methods are all accessible, compliant, safe, and secure. If you’d like to work hand-in-hand with an IT partner who can help you craft a meaningful data retention policy and help your team get a better handle on your IT environment, reach out to JENLOR today, and we’ll get the conversation started.