Not all tiers of storage are equal, especially when it comes to compliance. Optimize your storage architecture for regulatory obligations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and PCI, and you can recoup your compliance spend, make audits less painful and redeploy the savings to projects that have ROI potential. As with every aspect of your compliance efforts, it pays to have a plan.
When the auditors come knocking, of course, you need to have all your data in order. But, it doesn’t all have to be immediately available. Instead of investing heavily in a storage architecture that treats seven-year-old data like that generated only a few weeks ago, you should prioritize based on frequency of need. As long as you can reach the information you need, you’ll be able to satisfy the requirements dictated by the regulations with which your company has to comply.
Newer data should be stored for easy and rapid retrieval. In addition to its use for compliance tasks, there are other business needs which make the ability to access it quickly a priority (e.g., customer care activity, order processing). Older data, on the other hand, can be stored on less expensive equipment designed for archiving, as the frequency of use is low, and the likelihood that fast access is necessary is low.
So, how does this turn into an ROI opportunity?
By architecting your storage environment in a manner that addresses compliance without unnecessary cost, you’ll be able to lower the total cost of owning both your data and your compliance infrastructure. The capital that you’ve freed up can be used in other initiatives – particularly those with the ability to drive revenue, gain market share and widen margins.
Essentially, you can invest what you would otherwise have merely spent.
Regulatory compliance doesn’t have to be a pure cost. Apply some domain knowledge to your storage architecture, and you can gain an edge on the competition by containing your compliance costs and redeploying the savings for growth. Finally, smart compliance is a competitive advantage!