Email archiving is almost 20 years old. Nonetheless, there are still companies that are reluctant to adopt the practice. The rationale is often monetary – for small and medium-sized businesses operating in non-regulated industries, an email archive often seems like a costly can-do-without. Many organizations wrongly believe that storing email on live servers or using built-in archiving features of their email platforms can solve their email troubles. Here are 20 reasons why every company should archive email using a third-party solution. Let’s begin!
1. Regulatory Compliance
This is the logical number one on our list. The strict regulatory environment is one of the major drivers behind the demand for email archiving solutions, at least for highly regulated industries like financial services, healthcare and government. With more than 9,000 compliance regulations in US only, archiving email (and other digital communications) is mandatory for many.
We all hope we can avoid litigation, but it still happens. As the majority of documentation and communication is now electronic, and a vast part of it is contained in email and attachments, companies are regularly asked to disclose email content in the initial stages of the legal process. To be able to locate all emails relevant to the case, IT managers need to browse entire email histories and place legal hold on those emails. This is done to prevent any deliberate deletions, alterations and destruction of evidence.
Without an email archiving solution, you can never be entirely sure that you’ve located all emails litigators might need to look into. Retrieving email data from live servers is a lengthy and costly process. An email archiving solution allows your IT department to easily apply litigation holds, prevent evidence spoliation and ensure a smooth eDiscovery process without paying thousands of dollars for data retrieval.
3. Storage Management and Quotas
One in every four organizations experiences storage management growth of 25% per year. This growth is largely attributed to email use and ever-growing attachment size. When organizations impose email quotas, they do so to prevent infinite storage growth and prevent poor server performance. Email archiving brings relief to your servers and allows you to abandon quotas completely.
4. End-User Monitoring
Although most messages your employees and colleagues exchange are business-related, sometimes there’s more to it. With an email archive, you can define policies, set rules and keywords that can signal employe misconduct. When a specified word is used, your compliance officers and admis will be notified. This can help your HR team detect workplace disputes, and prevent more serious breaches such as sexual harassment, mobbing or fraud. This is an especially useful feature for the education industry, where student safety is vitally important.
5. Unified Repository
With email archiving, you centralize your email records which are now distributed across various devices or servers. When all company email is not contained in a single location, retrieving it requires a lot of effort and wastes precious time and money.
6. Superior Features
Until recently, smaller companies were reluctant to implement third-party archiving solutions due to higher costs. However, even they no longer believe that the built-in archiving and search features that mail platforms possess can get the job done. With native archiving solutions such as Exchange, several crucial features are missing. For example, advanced search feature is extremely limited, and audit log is nonexistent. Moreover, many native solutions do not support storage-saving features such as deduplication, especially single-instance storage of attachments. There’s a detailed overview of email archiving features in this white paper.
7. Audit Trail
An email archiving solution enables admins and compliance officers to perform audits and establish a high level of control. The audit feature offers a read-only log which is used to track activities on the appliance. It also allows authorized staff members to view the history of activities of a specific user (or another compliance officer) within a specific date range.
If an employee attempts to access information they’re not authorized to access, this activity will be recorded in the audit trail. The archiving software allows admins to check whether specific keywords have been searched, which users looked for what data, whether they attempted to modify certain rules or whether somebody tried to overstep their authority. Find more about audit trail here.
8. Data Verification
Given that email and other electronically stored information can be used as evidence, it is vital that your organization can prove that the emails have been archived in their original state and remained intact while in the archive. To minimize legal risk, improve compliance and help with eDiscovery or internal investigations, a good archiving solution will make sure all messages are time and date stamped. Choose an archiving software which offers authenticity features and message verification to easily prove that a specific email has not been manipulated or tampered with. Find more information about data verification here.
9. Policy Management
Email archiving solutions are there for you to ensure that your emails are retained in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements. Creating an email retention policy is a key measure here. The policy will need reflect the email retention laws relevant to your industry and contain guidelines regarding email deletion.Read more about the importance of email retention policy here.
10. Advanced Analytics
Email archiving solutions are no longer just that – they have become indispensable in information governance and business analytics. It’s incredible how many conclusions can be drawn from archiving company email.
11. IT Productivity
Locating a single elusive email can turn into a nightmare for your employees, who then reach out to your IT Team for retrieval support. That’s fine, but your IT team already have their hands full. A fully searchable archive with easy export options will save a lot of time and trouble to everyone involved.
12. Knowledge Base
Even if your organization belongs to an unregulated industry, your email archive will be a vast repository of corporate knowledge. Which employee takes the longest to respond to an email? Who’s the typical go-to person in your IT team? Such data might give you vital insight into your organization that you might not be able to get otherwise.
13. Insight for All Departments
Your compliance officer is not the only person who can reach conclusions based on the information housed in your archive. There’s plenty of information your departments can collect from both email content and metadata. Your management, HR and legal teams will be able to benefit the most. Find out how in this eBook.
14. Information Requests
Legislation such as FOIA or FIPPA allow anyone to access any record that is held or controlled by an institution on any issue and is subject to the exclusions and exceptions set out in the act. Data records can be anything, including communications about procurement, employees, finances and budgets. Of course, a lot of these communications take place through email. If you work for a government agency, school or a hospital, information requests are a regular part of your work. An email archiving solution will speed up the process and help you meet the often short deadlines.
15. Organizational Advantages
A high-quality email archiving solution has customizable user roles and permissions. This means that you can organize email access the way you deem best. End users will also benefit by being able to freely delete email from their mailboxes, knowing that there is a perfectly organized and easily searchable repository that they can use for reference whenever the need arises.
Investing thousands of dollars in an email archiving solution might sound like a huge cost for your business, but compared to millions that get spent on non-compliance fines, it’s a sound investment.
17. Prevention of Data Corruption
Data corruption is a reality, no matter how diligently you store your electronic information. However, one of the major purposes of email archiving is long-storage of data with no corruption or errors. In other words, companies archive email precisely because they want them to be there when they are needed. Whether you need your archived data for regulatory compliance, litigation or simply for productivity purposes, you need it archived safely by a reliable archiving solution. There are several features in email archiving that prevent data corruption. ECC RAM and self-healing storage technology such as ZFS ensure that the data stored on disks cannot be lost due to physical error, silent bit rot and data corruption. ZFS is designed for long-term storage of important information and has an unparalleled ability to neutralize data corruption and can even rebuild RAID arrays. Read more about data corruption and ZFS here and here.
18. Disaster Recovery
We’ve all heard the horror stories, hoping it won’t happen to us. With email archiving, you can add a second layer of protection and security to your data by mirroring all your archived data to a DR solution. Such a setup will allow you to access your valuable information and maintain business continuity in case of natural or man-made disasters and is an absolute priority for large enterprises that put security first (government agencies and organizations in the financial sector).
Email archiving solutions integrate with all major mail platforms. Features such as Outlook plugin let you access your archive directly from Outlook, which saves time and allows you to use a familiar interface. Moreover, the majority or archiving solutions now support add-ons for archiving company data other than email. As our business habits and retention laws change, many organizations are now required to archive social media, mobile communications and files. Having a single repository that can house all this data offers incredible advantages and is more cost-effective than purchasing all these solutions separately.
20. Just outsource the risk!
We know you have a lot on your mind. We understand that managing email communications is just one on your long list of everyday tasks. The average employee spends 28% of the workweek reading and responding to email. That’s 13 hours a week. Email archiving is an automated process which works in the background and that can save you many hours of cleaning your inbox manually.
Jatheon has been a global leader in on-premise archiving for more than a decade and is currently building the most advanced and secure cloud email archiving solution on the market. To learn more about our solutions, contact us or schedule your personal demo.