Because, to quote Randy Kahn, "[We] can’t keep everything forever."
- Keeping obsolete information may expose an institution to legal risk.
- Keeping unnecessary records accumulates unnecessary costs associated with the management, back-up, and storage of unnecessary information.
- While e-storage may have lower upfront cost and offers potentially limitless additional capacity, the costs of maintenance and migration issues add up over time.
- Storing records you no longer need takes up space (physically and electronically), and makes it more difficult to find the records you need.
- “Just in case” is generally not a legitimate retention need.
Conversely, "[We] can’t get rid of everything tomorrow."
- Legal rules and regulations require some records to be kept for certain periods of time.
- In the event of litigation or an audit, we have a responsibility to produce certain records promptly and efficiently.
- There may be ongoing operational needs for some older documents.
- Certain records have archival value and should be retained permanently.