"ILM Strategy has to be a company-wide initiave"

by Rajendra Chaudhary    Sep 07, 2006

How do you view the adoption of ILM in India?

If we break ILM adoption to the three broad categories of Active Archiving - Database Archiving, File/ HSM Archiving and Email Archiving, then Gartner’s assessment of this market worldwide is that we will see mainstream adoption of all three in 5-10 years’ time.

The first two, are in the ‘technology trigger’ phase as per Gartner (Ref: Hype Cycle for Storage Software Technologies, 2006). This being an emerging market worldwide, India will be no different given that both ERP and email are becoming mainstream adoption in India.

What are the key drivers that are fueling or likely to fuel ILM adoption among the Indian enterprises?

ILM adoption and its drivers in India are following the same trend as worldwide. The data is growing at 50% per annum, according to the study - Forrester: Trends 2006: Database Management Systems. Therefore, the need for active archiving of historical data to improve application and system performance becomes important, while continuing to retain data for compliance purposes, in the same format as original application and maintaining data protection to comply with security legislations and/ or business mandates.

Active archiving also helps to reduce the total cost of data management - including total storage costs. If nothing is done, the 50% per annum growth of data overcompensates for the 35% per annum reduction in per GB storage costs, and hence increases storage budgets every year.

Lastly, another driver is the increasing need to access and search historical data along with current data for BI and legal discovery purposes.

To what extent have regulatory pressures prompted ILM adoption?

Regulatory and litigations have necessitated data retention for periods much longer than what is strictly required for business purposes. The two key requirements are data needs to be retained for a certain number of years, like SOX requires for 7 years and HIPAA for 30 years and data must be unaltered

Until these acts came into force, most business organizations considered data beyond two years as historical data and backed-up on tape or purged them altogether. ILM adoption accelerated once longer data retention became a necessity due to regulatory or litigation reasons.

Which are the key verticals that are most likely to go for ILM?

The verticals that are data intensive like banking, insurance, capital markets, telco, government, retail and the ones which are compliance sensitive like banking, capital markets, health care, pharmaceuticals, food & beverages) would be the likely ones to go for ILM. The first ones to move would be those that fall in both areas. That is why we see banking and capital markets aggressively adopting Records Management and ILM.

What factors should a CIO consider while formulating an ILM strategy?

An ILM deployment strategy has to be a company-wide initiative. It is important that the CIO commits senior management sponsorship to this project and has the commitment and involvement of the business leaders across different departments/ functions. It is the business user who should own the data and decide what needs to be done with it; while the CIO and the IT department or the outsourced/ managed services provider act as custodian of the data.

Given this, the company with all business users including the CEO, CFO, legal counsels, should evolve a comprehensive data retention and data protection policy. The CIO should then concentrate on Data Classification followed by Active Archiving based on policy and standards and ensure adherence to the rules. Many CIOs are now appointing records managers or data officers whose role as custodians of data is to work closely with the concerned stakeholders of the company’s data.