Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is a comprehensive approach to managing an organisations data and associated metadata, starting with its creation and acquisition through when it becomes obsolete and is deleted. ILM seeks to classify data according to business value and establish policies to migrate and store data on the appropriate storage tier and, ultimately, remove it altogether.

The goal of information lifecycle management is to optimize the value of information, minimize costs and risks, and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

ILM is a strategy that involves managing information throughout its entire lifecycle, from creation to deletion. This includes activities such as data backup, archiving, retention, and disposal. The goal of ILM is to ensure that information is available when needed, while also reducing storage costs and minimizing risks associated with data loss.

ALM, on the other hand, is a process for managing the entire lifecycle of software applications, from development to retirement. This includes activities such as requirements management, design, coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance. The goal of ALM is to ensure that applications are developed and maintained in a way that meets the needs of the business, while also minimizing costs and risks associated with software defects.

While ILM and ALM are different strategies, they share some commonalities. Both involve managing data and/or software throughout their lifecycle, with the goal of maximizing their value while minimizing costs and risks. Additionally, both ILM and ALM rely on a combination of processes, tools, and technologies to achieve their goals.

What is Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)?

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is a process for managing the entire lifecycle of information, from creation through disposal. It involves developing policies, processes, and tools for managing the flow of information across different stages of its lifecycle, such as creation, storage, retrieval, use, archiving, and destruction.

What are the key stages of the information lifecycle?

The key stages of the information lifecycle include creation, classification, storage, retrieval, use, retention, preservation, and destruction. The specific stages and their order can vary depending on the type of information, its format, and the business requirements.

What are the benefits of implementing an ILM strategy?

Implementing an ILM strategy can help organizations to reduce storage costs, improve data security, enhance compliance and risk management, streamline operations, increase efficiency and productivity, and improve decision-making by ensuring that information is available when and where it is needed.

What are some best practices for implementing an ILM strategy?

Some best practices for implementing an ILM strategy include identifying the types of information and their lifecycle requirements, developing clear policies and procedures for each stage of the lifecycle, selecting appropriate storage and retrieval technologies, establishing data retention and destruction schedules, ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and regularly monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the ILM strategy.

What are the challenges of implementing an ILM strategy?

Some of the challenges of implementing an ILM strategy include managing the complexity of the information environment, ensuring data privacy and security, integrating different systems and applications, ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and ensuring that the ILM strategy aligns with the business goals and objectives.

What role does technology play in ILM?

Technology plays a critical role in ILM, providing the tools and infrastructure to manage the flow of information across its lifecycle. This includes storage systems, data management software, content management systems, backup and recovery systems, and archiving systems. Technology also enables organizations to automate many of the processes and tasks involved in managing information, improving efficiency and reducing costs.

What is the difference between ILM and Records Management?

ILM and Records Management are related but distinct processes. ILM involves managing the entire lifecycle of information, including data, documents, and other types of content, while Records Management focuses specifically on managing records, which are defined as “information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.” Records Management is typically more focused on compliance and legal requirements, while ILM is broader in scope and may encompass a wider range of information types and processes.

Snippet from Wikipedia: Information lifecycle management

Information lifecycle management (ILM) refers to strategies for administering storage systems on computing devices.

ILM is the practice of applying certain policies to effective information management. This practice had its basis in the management of information in paper or other physical forms (microfilm, negatives, photographs, audio or video recordings and other assets).

ILM includes every phase of a "record" from its beginning to its end. And while it is generally applied to information that rises to the classic definition of a record (and thus related to records management), it applies to all informational assets. During its existence, information can become a record by being identified as documenting a business transaction or as satisfying a business need. In this sense ILM has been part of the overall approach of enterprise content management.

However, in a more general perspective the term "business" must be taken in a broad sense, and not forcibly tied to direct commercial or enterprise contexts. While most records are thought of as having a relationship to enterprise business, not all do. Much recorded information serves to document an event or a critical point in history. Examples of these are birth, death, medical/health and educational records. e-Science, for example, is an area where ILM has become relevant.

In 2004, the Storage Networking Industry Association, on behalf of the information technology (IT) and information storage industries, attempted to assign a new broader definition to Information Lifecycle Management (ILM). The oft-quoted definition that it released that October at the Storage Networking World conference in Orlando, Florida, stated that "ILM consists of the policies, processes, practices, and tools used to align the business value of information with the most appropriate and cost-effective IT infrastructure from the time information is conceived through its final disposition." In this view, information is aligned with business processes through management policies and service levels associated with applications, metadata, information, and data.


  • Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Compliance Management
  • Data Governance
  • Data Lifecycle Management
  • Data Privacy and Security
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
  • Information Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Master Data Management
  • Records Management

External links:

  • kb/information_lifecycle_management.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/03/30 14:23
  • by Henrik Yllemo