It's an accepted fact that the advent of email has changed the communication processes for businesses internally and externally. Letters and hard-copy legal business documents have been replaced by email. Businesses have come to rely on it so much that an effective email archiving system is an unquestionable necessity.
There are 5 main reasons why businesses need to archive emails in this day and age:
# 1 Compliance with the law
Compliance regulations that any business activity should be recorded (that includes employee and client records, communications between organizations and financial documents). Since most of these are stored in email, you need to ensure that it ticks the three boxes of:
1) Data performance
2) Data security
You need not worry about SPAM or personal email since they do not relate to business activity. However, personal emails can be requested if they are relevant to an investigation.
There are about 10,000 compliance regulations around the world, and courts take them seriously. Failure to produce requested email records can come with harsh penalies. Just look at Morgan Stanley's 2005 case where they were fined $ 1.57 billion!
# 2 Protection from legal liability
When something like the above happens (you can not produce old emails that have been requested for legal discovery in law suits), you'll be charged with “spoliation” (aka destroying evidence). Australian company directors are personally liable in this case, and the company can also incur large fines.
To be safe, a company has to keep their data for as long as possible because there's no specific time limit – you've got to produce the information no matter how old it my be. It's more expensive to find the information for organizations that have yet to implement an email archiving system … sometimes, it costs more than the damages being thought in the law suit!
# 3 To manage storage better
Typically, each user has their own storage quota, and are limited in the amount of data they can have in their mailbox. The problem with this is that users end up deleting email when they've maxed out their quota, because they can not receive new email until they free up some space.
Businesses can save disk space with an email archiving system, because it gets rid of.PST files that take up so much physical storage space.
Any good email archiving system will allow for:
1) auto-archival of emails
2) compression of emails
3) centralization of emails
If the solution offers unlimited storage then you've hit the jackpot – you never have to worry about disk space, ever.
# 4 To manage knowledge better
So it's obvious how email contains intellectual property of an organization. It's actually pretty vital to most businesses. In fact, a study by Osterman Research (Messaging archiving market trends, 2005-2008) found that 75% of a company's intellectual property is contained in email and messaging systems. An email archiving system lets you go back to that knowledge if you need to for any reason.
# 5 To bring down IT costs
You can free up your IT resources by choosing the right email archiving system (but it depends on what solution you choose). You have 2 options:
– On promises hosting, where you create an internal system with information stored behind a corporate firewall, and your staff handle it internally. This is really pricey.
– Outsource this to someone else. This is the more affordable solution (and even more so when you combine it with cloud computing technology)