back to article Half of stored files will never be accessed

Research released Tuesday by email archiving firm Waterford Technologies has shown that over 50 per cent of files stored by companies are never accessed again. The figures highlight the growing - and often unnecessary - cost of storage for firms, according to Gary Cosgrave, sales director of Waterford Technologies, a provider …


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  1. Chris Miller

    Just like Henry Ford ...

    ... said of advertising, I know that half my files aren't ever going to be needed again. Now, if only I could figure out which half ...

  2. Alan Lukaszewicz

    Records and audits

    Some organisations need to keep records for a number of years (six) just in case a forensic audit is required or, in fact, any audit.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ethically incorrect

    Modern archiving systems already include automated deletion after a certain period of time.

    Needless information retention is not just a problem for Microsoft, most local governments need to accidentally delete things before they appear in court too.

    As an explanation to the benefits of setting retention periods and automatically deleting data if it hasn't accessed after a specified period of time, we were told the heart warming story of the child pornographer.

    Because a state worker and child porno worshiper had properly implemented his Statewide archiving and retention policies, when the State DOJ tried to prosecute him for downloading illegal material at work, they came unstuck. True story.

    So as State employees we were cheerfully informed that following our new archiving and retention policies had clearly demonstrated their worth.

    Needless to say one or two of us had a few issues with this. Like if that was the best example they could give, then the reasons behind implementing such policies don't really seem to be in the public interest. And can we have some ethical reasons for deleting our inboxes please?

    Seems they missed the boat, and could have banged on about reducing government waste. A much better tag line than "We saved the child pornographer from jail."

    We pretty much left the "training" session wondering how many other ways the State government could use this to avoid getting sue for negligence or prosecuted for other illegal activities.

  4. Ian Ferguson

    Well, duh

    The whole point of backups and archives is that you hopefully never need them, but you keep them just in case. If I knew exactly which files my business will need in six months time from the archive tapes, then I could reduce the storage capacity a thousand fold, yes. Waterford Technologies are more than welcome to provide me with a crystal ball that will divulge this useful information.

  5. Rich Silver badge

    Some things never change

    I seem to remember a survey done by Fujitsu some years (~10) ago.

    They concluded that something like 75% of all stored data (in whatever form; computer, paper files, whatever) was effectively useless because it was either incomplete or wrong or the cost and difficulty of retrieving the data far outweighed the actual value of it.

  6. Rubber chicken

    There was a survey once...

    That after careful analysis concluded that 78% of all statistics are made up.

  7. phil


    doesnt matter if most will be left unaccessed, the point is that if one single email in the entire 10 gigs worth of text proves to save the cmopany from a liable of £100,000, it's done it's job ?

  8. Joe Blogs

    What? Where?

    "Certainly, the amount of digital data stored has never been greater, with research released in March predicting that the figure would increase six-fold by the year 2010 - to a staggering 988 billion gigabytes of data."

    Emmm... is this for one company? one country? one person?

  9. Steve

    988 billion gigabytes

    The whole world. According to the IDC report it's currently at 161 exabytes, and by 2010 will be at 988 exabytes (i.e. 988 billion gigabytes)

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