aka How I learned that Technology Selection and Data Archival go together

Lobster corn dogs

I must confess that I am a bit of a foodie so I’m always anxious to try new things.  Recently, I was having dinner with a couple of colleagues in Minneapolis after visiting with a prospect and something on the menu caught my interest – Lobster Corn Dogs.

While I certainly like lobster and have had my share of corn dogs over the years, I’ve never had the two combined in one dish much less even had them served at the same restaurant.  I asked our waiter about them and of course he said they were fantastic.  (I’m sure I would have ordered them no matter what he said.)

As we waited for our food to arrive, I realized that we often have conversations with our business partners about evaluating tools and technologies or data archival, but typically as independent topics.  However, while thinking back on the prospect meeting we had earlier in the day, I realized they are inexorably linked.

It turns out that this prospect, a healthcare provider, had specific data retention needs due to regulatory requirements and was looking for a consolidated data archival solution to meet this challenge.  The current state included a number of data retention solutions including off-the-shelf, custom development, and some proprietary to the source application.

While we knew this would be a challenge, I was confident my team could provide this prospect with great benefits by bringing most of their historical data onto a single archival solution that would create a repeatable process, simplify maintenance, and reduce the total cost of ownership.  This part was a no-brainer.

Then, the prospect asked me if I had a checklist that I could provide them with that could ensure the new applications they added to their technology footprint in the future could easily have their data extracted and loaded to the data retention solution.  Of course I could come up with such a list, but I hadn’t previously thought about these two topics at the same time.

When considering a new application where data will be created and maintained, we should also focus on the end of the lifecycle for that new source of data including the archive and purge.  Two things I hadn’t previously thought about combining actually belong together and can absolutely improve the Information Lifecycle Management within a given organization.

So, when the Lobster Corn Dogs arrived at the table on the end of bamboo skewers arranged in a vase like a bouquet of edible flowers, I couldn’t wait to try one.  The crunchy golden-brown bite size bits of cornmeal surrounding the rich lobster meat proved to be a fantastic combination.

Remember – as I was reminded – that data is everywhere in your organization and virtually every new decision regarding people, process, or technology has the potential for affecting that data in some way.  So, when making these decisions, always add data as part of the conversation.


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