Information Lifecycle Management

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is a data management strategy that focuses on managing the flow of data from creation to deletion. The goal of ILM is to optimize the use of storage resources and improve data management efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Gartner defines ILM this way:

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is approach to data and storage management that recognizes that the value of information changes over time and that it must be managed accordingly. ILM seeks to classify data according to its business value and establish policies to migrate and store data on the appropriate storage tier and, ultimately, remove it altogether. ILM has evolved to include upfront initiatives like master data management and compliance.


TechTarget Defines ILM this way:

Information lifecycle management (ILM) is a comprehensive approach to managing an organization’s data and associated metadata, starting with its creation and acquisition through when it becomes obsolete and is deleted.


ILM involves a series of activities that are performed at different stages of the data lifecycle, such as data creation, data storage, data protection, data archiving, and data deletion. At each stage, the data is managed and stored according to its value, importance, and frequency of use.

ILM typically involves the use of data classification, data retention, data archiving policies, and data management tools and technologies. These policies and technologies help to manage the flow of data throughout its lifecycle and ensure that it is stored in the most appropriate location and format for its current needs.

Benefits of implementing ILM

Improved storage utilization and cost savings

By managing data throughout its lifecycle, ILM helps organizations ensure that the most valuable and important data is stored on high-performance storage systems, while less important data is stored on lower-cost storage systems.

Increased data protection and security

By managing the flow of data and applying appropriate data protection and security measures, ILM helps reduce the risk of data loss or corruption.

Better compliance

ILM helps organizations meet regulatory and compliance requirements by ensuring that data is managed and stored in accordance with the organization’s policies and best practices.

Overall, Information Lifecycle Management is an essential aspect of modern data management and is critical to effectively manage and store data securely and with cost savings in mind.

ILM Challenges

  • Complexity: In organizations with large and complex data environments it can be difficult to effectively manage and store data throughout its lifecycle. This can lead to data sprawl, increased data storage costs, and increased security and compliance risks.
  • Cost: Implementing ILM requires investment in the right data management tools and technologies, and structured and unstructured data management policies and processes. This can be a significant cost for organizations, especially those with limited budgets.
  • Data protection and security: ILM can introduce new security and privacy risks, especially if sensitive data is stored on low-cost or low-security storage systems. Organizations should ensure that they have appropriate data protection and security measures in place to mitigate these risks.

By carefully planning and executing your ILM strategies, organizations can manage and store your data throughout its lifecycle, cutting costs while ensuring that data is protected, secure, and compliant with regulatory requirements.

On-going Unstructured Data Management as part of an ILM Strategy

As we noted when we launched Smart Data Workflows, with billions of files and objects, analytics plus continuous mobilization is essential because data has a lifecycle and data management is not a one-time thing. Whether the use case is data analytics, data migration, data tiering, data replication, data search or anything related to the data lifecycle, it is important to look for an unstructured data management solution that delivers on-going data management. Learn more about Komprise Intelligent Data Management.

Want To Learn More?

Related Terms

Getting Started with Komprise:

Contact | Data Assessment