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A $3.3 trillion resource drain is caused by 85% of ROT data stored by businesses.

What is ROT data?

ROT refers to (redundant, obsolete, or trivial) as a term for digital information that companies keep even when the data it contains has no practical or ethical value. Employees generate ROT by storing duplicates of similar documents, out-of-date information, and unnecessary data that hinders the achievement of organizational goals. ROT is harmful in five crucial ways. Expenditures for storage, infrastructure, and maintenance are high. It makes it harder for staff members to prove that they are following regulations or to react to discovery requests. It hinders employees' capacity for quick access to pertinent facts and swift, data-driven judgment. ROT is frequently poorly managed, which leaves it open to data breaches. Information that is kept after its legally mandated time frame also puts the organization at risk of responsibility.

Causes of developing ROT data

It has been recognized that employees use business IT systems as a repository for their personal data. Files, such as images, games with music including legal documents and personal identification. All of it ultimately coexists alongside sensitive and important business data. Sink and sharing services frequently transfer these files, however, they may not always be the ones approved by management. And not just employees are in possession of data. Still in use is the conventional method of storing everything. In what part of a data Berg does all this data go? Consider this as a mountain of accumulating data that is always increasing and permeates every Organisation. Only 14% of this data, according to research, is crucial for business.32% is of little or no commercial value. This indicates that the majority of data stored by the company is dark or unidentified.

Organizations that have amassed data without procedures in place to classify and evaluate what they are holding on to are finding that the ROT data, which has an unknown value, and redundant, outmoded, or inconsequential data are being considered as an enormous burden according to senior IT decision makers.

The issue has been exacerbated in part by the quick expansion of data collection methods. Businesses can now gather M2M data, log files, analytics, surveillance, and location information to use it to improve various aspects of their operations. However, the problem is that there are massive volumes of data being saved that have no value or worth that are unknown since they have not been analyzed because there are no procedures in place for the storage and management of such data.

Practices to avoid ROT burden

A straightforward victory might be achieved through proper data management created by a well-thought-out big data plan, especially because IT is expected to do more with less as a result of decreasing funds. Most people struggle with not knowing what data to start with, what risks it might hold, or where the value is found. They may involve other company stakeholders and go on with a well-thought-out plan faster and with greater confidence if they have visibility into that environment.

Given the growing number of data rules, like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, which will take effect in the next two years, not knowing what is being held can be extremely risky. Businesses will be required by the regulation to conduct mandatory breach notifications and also have to keep in mind the type of data they store. The corporation will have to disclose what data has been breached and inform customers if their data has been exposed in any manner. Full breaches will result in a penalty fee of either €100 million or 4% of the company's yearly revenue.

The issue is whether corporations can accomplish that given that 52% of the data is regarded as dark. Even while certain data must be maintained for legal or compliance requirements, a successful data management strategy that integrates business and IT eliminates a lot of superfluous data.

"It's an age-old challenge; you have IT saying keep nothing and legal and compliance saying preserve everything so you have to find that balance," said Joe Garber, VP, of Marketing, HPE Software, Big Data Solutions, to CBR. There are two practices to approach the issue: one is to examine historically across time to create the best possible policies, and the other is to get close to those policies and properly analyze them. This entails analyzing the policies to determine what is required and what is not.

According to IT leaders, the survey concluded that just 15% of all stored data may be categorized as business-critical data.

It is anticipated that storing non-critical information will cost an average midsize company with 1000 TB of data more than $650,000 per year. Financial losses for companies can be seen as a result of these practices and, sure enough, using data that isn't compliant could cost them much more. How therefore can businesses approach the data?

  • Make a move, to archives, make better business decisions

  • Securely erase or anonymize your data.

  • Take command, Improve the information management policies, and influence employee conduct

  • Illuminate ROT data to draw attention to value and reveal risk.

  • Make a taxonomy for your data that is practical. Establish a consistent set of definitions, labels, and groupings with the help of important stakeholders so that you can comprehend the data you have.

  • Establishing best practices and policies to control ROT data.

  • Create routines, for instance, for deleting unnecessary data and old records.

  • For every category of information, establish a single source of truth (SSOT).

Preventing the development of ROT

Being one step ahead of the development of ROT data requires constant effort rather than a one-time action. Investing in a powerful file analysis system or tools available in the market will help businesses automate important information management processes, assure proper data tagging, and promote strong information management based on smart data evaluation. Following are some steps businesses can follow to prevent ROT development.

  • Recognize ROT data throughout the whole IT infrastructure.

  • Facilitate activities related to legal and regulatory compliance

  • Making data more accessible will boost productivity.

  • Cut back on data management and storage expenses.

  • Lessen the likelihood of security issues and lessen the financial impact of a data breach

  • Accurate search results can help you make better decisions.


It can be concluded that employees are contributing to generating ROT by storing duplicates of similar documents, out-of-date information, and unnecessary data that hinders the achievement of organizational goals. ROT is detrimental in five key ways. Storage, infrastructure, and maintenance costs are significant. Staff members find it more difficult to respond to discovery demands or to demonstrate that they are adhering to regulations. Employees' ability to quickly access important facts and make timely, data-driven decisions is hampered. ROT typically exhibits inadequate management, which makes it vulnerable to data intrusions. The organisation runs the risk of liability if the information is maintained for longer than the minimum amount of time required by law. By 2020, managing (ROT) Redundant, Obsolete, Trivial, and dark business data might cost corporations $3.3 trillion. Thus, companies are advised to take strict regulatory action to prevent the development of ROT data. Businesses will be required by the regulation to conduct mandatory breach notifications and also have to keep in mind the type of data they store.



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