Organizations have two main drivers to store data: mission business needs and legal requirements. As data continues to accumulate and the investments required to buy, maintain, and operate storage devices grows; the business model regarding data storage is shifting. Cloud based technologies are impacting the way data is being stored, retrieved, maintained, and preserved creating opportunities for efficiencies if an organization can leverage these technologies while ensuring its data strategy meets records management requirements. Across the government, organizations must determine what has to be preserved, how long it has to be stored, and what constitutes an actual record. Total storage per year is trending higher, as many organizations lack deduplication policies and the rules regarding data preservation are not clearly defined. This paper outlines specific steps the government can take to optimize data management by: complying legal and government policy, applying industry best practice, and utilizing technologies.