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Records Management in SharePoint Online - information lifecycle model

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

The value of information changes over time, and an information lifecycle model will help you to manage this in Microsoft Office 365. It is not only about preserving information assets, but also getting rid of redundant, outdated, and trivial (ROT) data and content. The benefits of getting rid of ROT include:

  • Improved search due to less search results clutter

  • Reduce eDiscovery and investigation efforts and costs due to less ROT

  • Free up storage since ROT that may be 50-70% of your data and content

For Office 365, an information lifecycle model is often implemented the following ways:

  • Retention labels to retain and dispose records to ensure compliance with internal and regulatory requirements

  • Automatic deletion of documents that has not been modified in X years using retention policies

  • Automatic deletion of non-record emails after X years using retention policies

  • Automatic deletion of Teams after X years using retention policies

I have previously blogged about the benefits of using metadata to improve search and records management with SharePoint Online. Metadata will also help you implement an information lifecycle model. Before I start to explain how to do this, let me share some examples of how such a model could look like.

  • Draft, Final

  • Temporary, Work-in-Progress, Final

  • Plan, Aquire, Maintain, Dispose, Apply

  • Plan, Specify, Enable, Create & Aquire, Maintain & Use, Archive & Retrieve, Purge