Email is a primary means for communicating with people inside and outside your organization. Most of your users and customers use email to negotiate contracts and agreements, and exchange invoices and payment information. Very often, email messages are the only records of important transactions.
Unfortunately, many organizations underestimate the wealth of information stored in their corporate email. According to Osterman Research, email contains nearly 75% of the information that individuals use on a daily basis. The amount of corporate knowledge stored in corporate email is enough to justify its safekeeping, but many organizations still find it hard to accept the need for an industrial-strength email archiving solution. After all, they point out, we always have backups.
It is not that simple.
The reasons for email archiving and management can vary widely by business focus. One certainty, however, is that a company never truly knows if and when the need for an old email trail will arise, especially in case of a complicated legal issue that could require the company to pay hefty fees and fines.
Traditional backup solutions that restore systems after a catastrophic outage are not really suitable for finding past emails. They are not easy to access or to search within them once made accessible, and there is no safeguard from tampering. With a quality email archiving solution, management and employees can easily search for old or deleted emails and retrieve them in minutes – without IT intervention or putting your backups at risk.
The volume of email generated on a daily basis is a challenge for IT administrators. As employees send and receive more emails with larger attachments, storage space on the server starts running out. If server quotas can’t be increased, then emails must be stored in PST files on workstations or a network share, creating more IT headaches and weak points in your data retention policies. With an email archiving solution, all emails are stored off the server while remaining easily accessible. The hassles associated with PST files simply go away.
Legislation in many countries has been amended to include email along with written or printed data in legal retention regulations. While legal and finance companies have very specific email compliance regulations, your business needs to consider its own email retention policy. The inability to produce an email trail when needed (e.g., evidence in a court case), could result in hefty fines, court sanctions and loss of credibility. With an email archiving solution, all corporate email is stored safely in a tamper-proof environment and accessible within minutes. This makes it easier for your company to find valuable internal data, defend itself in a court of law, or simply prove compliance with applicable regulations.
With the right archiving solution one can also extract information from their email archive that can help you identify potential security breaches, legal risks and productivity issues. Reports can be issued on demand or scheduled and sent to your inbox on a regular basis.
Archiving is not just for emails. Businesses use documents, spreadsheets and other files to log information, communicate, plan and collaborate on projects. These files contain a wealth of information. If they are lost or end up in the wrong hands, your business's reputation could be tarnished apart from considerable damage and costs. This is why an archiving solution should also enable you to archive files, folders and calendar entries. This will ensure you have a complete archive of your business correspondence and data. Some archiving applications also provide file sharing features to enable collaboration between users and teams without relying on third-party cloud storage or file sharing providers.
Archiving is no longer a luxury. It’s a justified cost of doing business. It's an insurance policy against possible legal or compliance repercussions. Companies that use an archiving solution report that the benefits exceed their expectations in a number of ways.
There is a strong body of legislation and an increasing number of compliance regulations that affect companies everywhere. The following links provide you with a summary of legislation in particular countries. These are the regulations that stipulate, directly or indirectly:
More information about GFI Archiver can be found here