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Clear out the ROT!

If you were to ask most people what the definition of rot is, you are more than likely to get answers along the lines of "something that's damaged, something that you can't use anymore or something that is decaying or gone bad".

Louise Ozier

25/07/2017

​​They might give examples of damp rot or rotten food but ROT in the IT world is an acronym and if you apply the definition of rot to your data it's not far off what this blog is essentially about.

The acronym ROT when referring to IT stands for Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial and it's used when describing your digital data that your business keeps hold of when it has no value. Employees create ROT every day without realising how much this impacts your business.

ROT can be found on network and SharePoint servers, desktops, mobile devices such as laptops and mobile phones, on premise and in the cloud. Its impact can be huge and will become even more of a worry when the new GDPR* comes into force on May 25th 2018.

Reasons to clear the ROT out:

  1. It decreases the need for extra storage.
    Funding extra storage, costs businesses money; not only having to pay for the extra storage but extra storage creates the need for a bigger IT infrastructure (and more IT support staff) and hardware which all rise costs.
  2. Prevents data becoming a liability risk.
    For businesses that are subject to audits, clearing out the ROT is an important part of the process. Businesses need to be able to demonstrate they are compliant within a whole range of regulations and legal guidelines dependent on the sector the business operates in.
  3. Improves productivity in staff.
    The need to quickly access the right information instead of wading through irrelevant documents will increase the delivery of projects and increase productivity on a day to day basis. This in turn increases productivity and profit margins.
  4. Prevents data breaches.
    Clearing out the ROT can be viewed as time consuming and not a profitable use of time. The less information your company has that has no business or legal value reduces the chance of a data breach. If there is a data breach then you open yourselves up to costly legal action that is easily preventable.
  5. GDPR is coming.
    May 25th 2018 is a date that you need to have etched in your brain if you are the owner of a business. The new regulations are replacing the outdated Data Protection Act and is a well needed reaction to the change in how data is stored, transferred and managed. Individual's now have far more rights and businesses will have to ensure that they have the legal consent to process data. All personal data that you hold, where it came from and who you share it with now needs to be documented. Getting rid of obsolete data will help to prevent any breaches of GDPR.

*GDPR(The General Data Protection Regulation) is the European Union's new legislation to protect the personal data of all EU citizens and has evolved from the need to regulate data protection by updating the 1995 Data Protection Directive (DPD). This set of regulations is now out of date due to the increasing advances in the digital and technology world.
Organisations have been given a two-year lead in period to become compli​ant, ending 25th May 2018.​

How can Fuse help you clear out the ROT?

Fuse is a specialist in SharePoint and has an in-house team of consultants. If you currently store terabytes of data held within an on-premise infrastructure and you are worried about GDPR because your data is unstructured and therefore unmanageable, Fuse can help. Fuse implements solutions that help to analyse the data held by your organisation; structure your data; identify unwanted and duplicated data. This is all done quickly and securely.

Once your data is in a manageable format we can provide the tools that will identify and collect GDPR personal information within documents. Workflows can be created to generate documents and automate your requests for "the right to be forgotten".  Not only are we good at it, it will give you peace of mind as you will be preventing any GDPR breaches. Become compliant by binning the ROT!

​If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about your current system, call 01604 797979 for​ a no obligation chat!


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Common Misconceptions About ROT (Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial) Data327<p><strong>​​1.</strong>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <strong>My company has no ROT! </strong><br><strong>&#160;</strong><br>You know that your compliance manager has put in endless policies to ensure that all employees are informed of what is relevant and when they should be saving documents. You think you have ticked the box and all your staff are following the process.&#160; The reality is that employees are hoarders.&#160; It includes everything from anything to emails, photos and HR records. They worry that they won't be able to find something instantly so they save it to their desktop. They then set up a new folder on their &quot;O&quot; drive for all their personal photos and articles that they want to keep; just in case they might need it one day. Multiply this by the number of employees you have and you suddenly have a big problem. There are lots of horrifying statistics that you can find on the net with case studies of companies finding up to 70-80% of their stored data is ROT.&#160;&#160; </p><p>&#160;</p><p><strong>2.</strong>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <strong>&#160;</strong><strong>I have invested in special hardware that detects duplicates!</strong><br><strong>&#160;</strong><br>Whilst this is in part true, this type of hardware will only solve part of the problem.&#160; It won't handle documents that are earlier versions, trivial items, or policy documents that are out of date. </p><p>&#160;</p><p><strong>3.</strong>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <strong>My organisation has been operating well for years without having to think about ROT!</strong><br><strong>&#160;</strong><br>This may be the case but just because you haven't thought about it before today doesn't mean it's a good business decision to not starting thinking about it. Why wouldn't you want to make your business more productive and operate more smoothly? Excess ROT means you are paying more for your data storage. Your employees spend more time searching for important data reducing their productivity and it fills up search results and data libraries. If an employee leaves they leave their ROT too, putting obstacles in the way of retrieving data for the employees they have left behind. Whose responsibility is it in your organisation to delete all unnecessary data when an employee leaves? </p><p><strong>4.</strong>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <strong>Data storage costs are part of our running costs and there's no point worrying about it!</strong><br><strong>&#160;</strong><br>Data storage costs are an unavoidable running cost as most organisations can't live without it. The costs don't stop with just the storage of the data but include managing it, backing it up and if your servers are on premise you have added cooling costs and electricity bills to think about. There are some amazing statistics on the net that show that when IT companies have gone in to &quot;sort out&quot; unmanageable systems that up to 80% of data has been ROT. Slashing your running costs by 80% suddenly becomes a bit more attractive. </p><p>&#160;</p><p><strong>5.</strong>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <strong>It's too difficult and time consuming to get rid of the ROT!</strong></p><p>In most organisations, it's down to the end user to get rid of their ROT. Unfortunately, the reason the ROT exists in the first place is down to the end user so it is unlikely they will be able to rectify it. Don't forget, as already mentioned in the first paragraph, they are hoarders. Tackling ROT is easy; all you need is key decision makers that can identify the ROT and then use the correct technology to identify, process and remove it. </p><p>&#160;</p><p><strong>6.</strong>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <strong>I don't need to worry about ROT till the new GDPR comes in next year!</strong><br><strong>&#160;</strong><br>It might seem like ages away but at the time of writing this it's only 304 days away! Take out the weekends and it's 218 days away and this isn't including bank holidays and closure of businesses at time like Christmas. The GDPR is an excellent incentive to get your data house in order. The excellent news is that many customers who have already moved their data to the cloud are already on the way to addressing the problem of non-essential data. This is due to them addressing the problem already when migrating their data to the cloud. IT consultancies ensure that the data is analysed prior to migration and reports are then given to key decision makers to generate policies to delete the ROT. Data can be analysed according to age of the document, author, type, health references and many more.</p><p>&#160;<img align="absMiddle" src="/SharePoint/PublishingImages/Blog%20picture.jpg?Width=380&amp;Height=259" alt="" style="border-width&#58;0px;border-style&#58;solid;margin&#58;5px;" />​</p><p><strong>7.</strong>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <strong>How do I know if I will ever need that piece of data again! Getting rid of ROT makes me nervous!</strong><br><strong>&#160;</strong><br>This is where senior management need to make decisions in line with their policies. Policies not there? Put them in place. Deleting data makes people nervous but if you have robust policies in place you can be confident that the data can be searched using metadata against the parameters you choose. Do you really need past employee HR records? Do you need the earlier versions of every document that is produced? Do you want your databases clogged up with your staff's personal photos and music downloads? Do you want to keep marketing lists that are ten years old? Or 7 years old? Do you need old branding logos and documentation? The list goes on and on. Once you start thinking about it in smaller manageable chunks, the decisions become obvious and less nerve racking. Be confident in your policies and you will become confident in the documents and records that are managed by your organisation. <br>&#160;</p><p>If you have any further questions on this article or the subject of ROT call Fuse on 01604 797979 or email fuse@fusecollaboration.com</p><p>​</p>l.ozier@fusecollaboration.com | Louise Ozier | 693A30232E777C6675736563735C6C2E6F7A696572 i:0#.w|fusecs\l.ozier<img align="absMiddle" alt="" src="/SharePoint/PublishingImages/Blog%20picture.jpg?Width=380&amp;Height=259" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />02/08/2017 23:00:002017-08-02T23:00:00ZFurther to our previous blog discussing the benefits of clearing out your ROT and explaining why it’s important to start thinking about it, this article is answering some of the common misconceptions surrounding the issue03/08/2017 14:22:5894https://www.fusecollaboration.com/ourblog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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