Information lifecycle management (ILM) is the effort to oversee data, from creation through retirement, in order to optimize its utility, lower costs, as well as minimize the legal and compliance risks that may be introduced through that data.
ILM involves storage optimization as well as strategies to improve data quality and security. Finally, a strong information lifecycle management practice will proactively control data retention and disposal in accordance with business policy.
Due to the incredible volume of data that the typical organization creates, data management techniques are vital to prevent storage costs from spiraling out of control. ILM controls data growth and minimizes costs while supporting greater application performance.
ILM also prevents out-of-compliance conditions and reduces legal liability by ensuring that data is stored securely and is not retained for longer than is needed. Data that is kept too long costs the organization unnecessarily and creates liability. It also enforces compliances policy, thereby preventing audit fines.
The main activities are database archiving, test data management, data privacy/data masking, and data/application retirement. However, any systemic application of rules to business data or attempts to minimize, simplify, or increase the security of data can fall under the general procedures of ILM.