Establishing Data Retention Policies
You should include data retention policies in your MSP services which safeguard your own data in addition to that of your clientele. Knowing how to care for your own house is the first step to being truly helpful in assisting clients as they work to care for theirs. Also, strategic retention of data can help your organization more effectively manage information, reducing infrastructural cost over time. With that in mind, there are three main considerations pertaining to your data retention policies:
- Classification of information
- Compliance of information
- Deletion of the information
Classification of Information
First and foremost, you need to establish which data is important, and which data isn’t. This is important internally, and it’s important as you go about assisting clients. You’ll likely divide data up according to its importance. There are infrastructural data, software necessary for operations, developmental data, financial data–the list goes on. The idea here is to identify that which must be retained and eliminate that which is either redundant or spurious. Redundancies are maintained via backups, but you shouldn’t have redundancies within redundancies; that’s just counter-intuitive.
Compliance of Information
Part of your data classification is going to involve compliance. Especially as technology progresses, new strictures and legal requirements surfeit professional IT operations. For you and your clients, when you provide your MSP services, clear compliance must be established. This means you’ve got to look into existing protocols, upcoming protocols, and legacy protocols. Additionally, you must keep your fingers on the pulse of changes in the tech industry as regards compliance. There are going to be shifts. Additionally, sometimes, compliance regulations will require you to retain certain information that otherwise may be classified as spurious.
Deletion of Information
Once you’ve properly classified your data and ensured that the information either you or your clients will keep is in proper compliance, from there, it’s time to delete all the spurious data. Aliases, advertisements, unnecessary emails, and other areas of operation where unnecessary information is generated should all be deleted. From here, another step that many tech organizations take, which may or may not be appropriate depending on your situation, involves a complete system’s initialization and reboot. In such a scenario, the protocol would be to store your information in a secondary location after it has been whittled down to the essentials. After this point, computer, servers, or server network is wiped and rebooted. You can store a server network’s data on the cloud, and sometimes vice versa; depending on where as well as who your MSP is providing business to. Clients can retain equipment longer with a few wipes and reboots over its operational life cycle–depending on equipment, of course.
Safeguarding Your Operations over the Long Run
It’s impossible to anticipate that which may prove operationally threatening to you or clients. The best solution is to back up everything that is fundamentally necessary, and establish solid protocols for the forward preservation of that data over time. Tape drives are used today, sometimes, as they have greater longevity.
If your MSP services are backed up with solid data retention policies that cover all angles, you’re likely to maintain reliability in terms of your own operational needs, better enabling you to assist clients.