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WesternIM’s AgileIM tool can be used to clean up shared drives by identifying and removing Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial files (ROT).  AgileIM uses highly efficient scanning algorithms to scan part or all of the directory structure on the shared drive.  It then uses powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to assess the files and determine whether a file should be categorized as ROT.  AgileIM can prepare a report of all files categorized as ROT, which can be further reviewed by a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to confirm whether the files can be removed.  The report is interactive, which allows the SME to dynamically act on individual cases or exceptions where removal of the file is not indicated.  Upon approval to remove the file, AgileIM can either move the files to a temporary holding location or delete the files immediately.  An audit trail is maintained so that future reference can be made as to the disposition of the file.

The specifics of the process depend on which type of file is being dealt with, Redundant, Obsolete or Trivial.

Redundant.  AgileIM goes beyond a simple comparison of file name and file size, and creates a unique hash, or code, from the contents of a file.  This code uniquely identifies that content and allows AgileIM to identify files that are true duplicates.  A report of duplicate files is created, and an SME can review this report to determine if there are any cases where it is appropriate to retain multiple copies of a file.  All redundant copies are then “decoupled” from the shared drive, leaving only the original and the required copies.  Decoupling moves a copy of the file to a temporary location, retaining the information on where the copy was located.  This allows the redundant copy to be restored if necessary.   The temporary location is then deleted once it is confirmed that all the copies are truly redundant.

Obsolete.  AgileIM can identify and remove Obsolete files by using its Classification Editor to create classes, or groups of files that are similar.  The Classification Editor can take information from a formal Records Management classification scheme and retention schedule, or it can be created from an informal description of the kinds of information to be found on the shared drive, and the length of time it is desired to keep that information.  AgileIM’s classification engine is driven by powerful and sophisticated AI tools, using plain English descriptions.  This removes any requirement for user engagement with complicated rules or computer coding.  The AI tool assesses the file against the descriptions of the different kinds of information and assigns that file to a class.  The specific class assignment will determine the length of time the file should be kept, the action to be taken once the lifetime is exceeded, and optionally the person or group authorized to approve removal of the file.  Once files are assigned to classes, a report can be run to identify which files have exceeded their allotted lifetime.  The authorized person or group can then review the report to ensure that removal of files is warranted and can deal with any individual cases or exceptions.  When files have been approved for removal, they can be deleted, archived or moved, as defined by the class to which they were assigned.

Trivial.  AgileIM can remove Trivial files as a special case of the use of the Classification Editor.  A special class can be defined with a description of those files that the organization deems Trivial.  A report can then be run to identify all files classed as Trivial, and those files can be immediately deleted.

AgileIM provides an effective and efficient way to remove ROT files from shared drives.  Removing low-value information from shared drives can improve employee efficiency, reduce information security risks, and improve business outcomes.  This makes AgileIM a very valuable tool in the IM toolkit.

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