What is ROT data?
Redundant obsolete trivial (ROT) data refers to the digital information that has little or no business value to the organization but is still stored.
- Redundant data refers to duplicate files, i.e., multiple copies of the same file stored in storage repositories. It is accumulated when employees create multiple copies of the same file.
- Obsolete data is outdated information that is no longer used by the organization such as stale and old files. Example: Files owned and used by ex-employees.
- Trivial data refers to files that are insignificant or are not related to the organization such as unofficial emails and employees' personal files like pictures and iTunes playlists.
ROT data has no legal or business value but it can be found on multiple storage repositories like desktops, network servers, SharePoint servers, mobile devices, and in the cloud. The Global Databerg Report shows that about 85% of all content stored in an organization is ROT data.
Why is storing ROT data an issue?
When not managed properly, ROT data can cause the following issues:
Increase in data storage costs
ROT data takes up a substantial amount of your primary Tier 1 disk space and causes excessive storage and maintenance costs.
Loss of employee productivity
Storing multiple copies of the same outdated files leads to a cluttered storage space, which is hard to manage, making it difficult for employees to access the right information at the right time.
Poor business outcomes
Employees might perform analysis on outdated information and base decisions on it, leading to poor business outcomes.
Data security issues
Data hoarding or excessive accumulation of electronic information increases the cybersecurity risk as businesses are unaware of what data is sensitive. These files do not have updated or relevant security measures in place, making the data vulnerable to breaches and leaks.
Compliance regulations mandate that sensitive data should be stored with appropriate levels of security measures in place. The presence of such personally identifiable information (PII) in ROT data will lead to legal ramifications and hefty fines if the storage of this data does not meet compliance requirements.