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Retention Policies have Turned into Powerful Instruments 

Updated: Apr 1

Don’t Be the Executive That Didn’t Provide the Resources and Funding to Keep Retention Policies Current


In the relentless surge of data, companies stand at a crossroads. Their once-prized asset—the troves of information collected—now teeters on the precipice of liability. The stakes are high, and the consequences are real. Updating retention policies is no longer a mere administrative chore; it's a strategic imperative. Failure to act transforms data from an enabler to a ticking time bomb.


Why Retention Policies Matter More Than Ever


Legal Minefields: Privacy laws tighten their grip, demanding meticulous handling of data. Non-compliance isn't just a slap on the wrist; it's a financial guillotine. The GDPR, CCPA, and their global counterparts wield power. Companies must dance to their tune or face the music. But beyond compliance, it's about ethical stewardship—a fiduciary duty to protect the digital legacy.


Cyber Shadows: Cyber threats loom larger than ever. Data hoarding—keeping information beyond its useful life—creates vulnerabilities. Breaches aren't just embarrassing; they're business-crippling. Imagine your company's crown jewels exposed due to outdated policies.


Technological Whirlwind: AI, IoT, and predictive analytics churn out data like cosmic factories. Retention policies must adapt. Ignoring this is akin to building a house on shifting sands.


Management's Ethical Duty: It's not just about compliance; it's about ethics. Management's fiduciary responsibility extends beyond shareholder returns. It's about safeguarding the digital legacy. Predictable data lifecycles ensure responsible stewardship.


Business Activities: For many businesses to stay competitive today, they are expanding their activities. Retention policies must have a predictable end-of-life for all data created, used, and managed by the company.


Third Parties: Third parties are now routinely part of a company’s data ecosystem. They must understand what is required when handling your data.


Why Should the Board and C-Level Executives Care?


Strategic Risk: Data retention policies are foundational governance tools. They shape how data flows through the organization. The Board and C-level executives should view them as strategic risk mitigators. Outdated policies expose the company to legal, financial, and reputational risks.


Ethical Imperative: As custodians of the company's destiny, leaders bear an ethical responsibility. Data isn't just 1's and 0's; it's people's lives, aspirations, and trust. Updating retention policies reflects a commitment to ethical data management.


Resource Allocation: Funding retention policies often take a back seat. But consider this: inadequate policies drain resources. Legal battles, data breaches, and lost opportunities cost far more than proactive policy updates.


Privacy and Cyber Risk Profiles: Retention policies should be woven into privacy and cyber risk profiles. They're not standalone documents; they're the backbone of data governance.


So, leaders, take heed. The data you hold isn't static; it's pulsating with potential and peril. Updating retention policies isn't an administrative chore anymore—it's foundational governance for the data's lifecycle.

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