Computer technology has been a fixture of business now for several decades – but I’m not sure it’s a "mature" industry yet. Sure, we have a few standards, and some dominant vendors and a strong workforce – all earmarks of a mature industry – but there are some gaping holes that we still have in practice.
One of those holes is a standard for data control. There are standards such as SOX and HIPPA to safeguard data; but those do not necessarily guarantee business continuity or even define usefulness in the data.
As you develop and buy more and more applications, and embark on endeavors such as Business Intelligence and Data Mining, are you running into places where your data are ballooning at a speed you hadn’t anticipated? Have you even had time to think about it?
You should. If you need guidance, there are good references and resources to get you started. One that I use quite often is the Microsoft Operations Framework, or MOF. It has a good treatment of data archival: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/ExMgmtGuide/ee14337e-eaa8-49e0-b87f-ac79626b9b59.mspx?mfr=true