The Cost of Compliance in South Africa and How to Contain It

By Bryan Balfe, CommVault

By Bryan Balfe, Enterprise Account Manager at CommVault

Compliance is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for CTOs and CIO’s in South Africa who are struggling to get to grips the fulfilment of legislative requirements and importantly, containing costs associated with this.

The challenge is the struggle to keep the right “stuff” in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, many businesses with legacy solutions turn archives into permanent storage pools and don’t address long-term retention efficiently or cost-effectively. The trick is to balance long-term retention with bottom line economics. Questions to ask include:

  1. How much of what you’re paying to store has real business value?
  2. Are you keeping information that could pose a potential risk?
  3. What about finding the right content in real time?
  4. How much are you paying annually in long-term vaulting costs?

In the era of Big Data, there is a growing problem with saving too much information, or hoarding it. That can get messy. One of the many traps that businesses fall into is blindly saving everything without consideration for the value that lies within this information. 

This has a direct impact on costs and risk. What needs to be considered is that as new data comes in, old data can become redundant, outdated and trivial. 

In order to comply with ease and contain costs, companies need to understand whether their data is growing stale and consuming valuable storage space.  What they are storing, where and why?

This lack of insight is the chief reason for companies unwittingly embarking on a “keep everything” strategy. However, the costs of this mistake erodes profitability and ultimately, the bottom line.

Opting to make use of solutions that include content-based retention features assists  greatly to control the cost, risk and complexity of managing and retaining compliant data. These type of solutions can allow an organisation to better manage information in order to gain an understanding about content and enforce a clear policy on what to keep and why.

Furthermore, these solutions provide the organisation with a set of policies to automatically classify it, determine what is most relevant, move it to cost-effective storage such as a cloud service, and delete everything that is irrelevant.

It is essential for organisations to discard information that is no longer of value, ensuring only data with value remains. This can assist organisations achieve up to 70 percent reduction in storage which in turn, reduces costs. Reducing long-term capacity requirements makes the value proposition of cloud services for archival storage more attractive.

Risk to the business is also reduced because access to the right information is streamlined. Only content that has value is retained, while data that does not meet regulatory, legal or corporate policy is defensibly deleted from a single source.

Including features such as search and self-service access will further ensure that anyone, including legal and compliance teams, can quickly get to the right information when the clock is ticking.

Lastly, complexity is reduced because you can forget about manual processes and end-user classification. These solutions put data collection and long-term retention on automatic pilot with automated processes to store, classify and organise information according to business value.

The story about reducing cost, risk and complexity comes to life when we start talking about concrete customer use cases. We worked with a hardware engineering company that has multiple sites involved in the manufacturing of the same device.

The challenge they faced was that they had no way of viewing all of the project data for that particular device in a single place. This led to an issue when they needed to collect all project information for a patent request on their product.

They estimated that the manual collection and search efforts cost them thousands of dollars in resources and infrastructure alone to accommodate this one patent challenge. And that was just the first year as there were additional costs for every year the case remains open.

This is a large sum of money should a case remain open for two years which affects any organisations bottom line, all due to not having a single, accessible view into the right data. 

Developing a single information policy and strategy helps to control cost, risk and complexity for a variety of users across the enterprise. Consider this: according to Gartner, “Strategies to address the time value management of data can succeed, and are being deployed successfully in many organisations. The goal is lower costs and risk, and improved access to valuable data. Challenges exist and may seem insurmountable at times. However, the results of good data management will support an agile business that understands its data and empowers its businesses to use it.”

Data and information management challenges are by no means insurmountable with the right tools. The idea of content-based retention impacts many stakeholders across the organisation and ultimately leads to greater insight and increased value to the business.


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