The attic. The basement. The garage. The place where you put the things you don’t need everyday – the Christmas lights, the old files with your high school yearbooks and college papers, the bike that you haven’t used in years, the steamer trunk of your uncle’s that you’ve been meaning to open up one of these days, the boxes from your first TV though you’ve long since given away the TV itself. The detritus of your life in the past, kept because you never know when you might need it and perhaps more so, if you could admit it, because you haven’t gotten around to getting rid of it.
As it turns out, that hoarding you do for yourself shows up at work too.
Think of your company’s server. How much of the data that’s stored there is necessary and how much of it is junk? You may not think of digital information taking up space, but it does. While disk storage space has gone down in price, that’s no excuse to holding onto information and files that are no longer needed.
Some things you do need to keep – invoices, tax information, etc. Some things you really don’t – that proposal that you wrote 4 years ago and is now hopelessly out of date and obsolete? Why are you saving it?[pullquote]Surely there can’t be sentimental value behind outdated programs and apps.[/pullquote]
An employee has left and left all of his/her data on the server. Some of it might be worth holding onto and some might be pointless.
Think of running a backup with data that you don’t need. It’s pointless and means that if you have to restore a damaged server, it will take a lot more time. And if you’re storing things in the cloud, you’re likely paying money for that storage space. Are you storing things that you really need?
You may keep stuff around your house that you don’t really need because of sentimental reasons, but surely there can’t be sentimental value behind outdated programs and apps. (If there is, you might need to work with a different kind of professional on that.)
What you need to do is to have a company policy in place in regards to how long to hold onto certain types of files. Take the time to weed through and get rid of the excess. Things can be automated where everything of a certain age can be tossed, but you’re the only one who can know what really needs to be kept and what doesn’t.
If you take the time now to purge old files and get a system set in place, you’ll be saving storage space, which translates to saving money and time in case of an equipment failure.