Do small and medium-sized businesses need technological solutions for archiving corporate email and social media communication? Although email and social media archiving tools are typically labelled as “enterprise solutions”, that doesn’t mean that they’re used only by large companies or that small businesses don’t need them. If you are an SMB wondering about archiving email and other digital content, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
How Important Is Email in My Business?
Some businesses answer this question without much thinking. They don’t use email to sell, so they assume it’s not important. In reality, every modern business, big or small, uses email every single day. We use it to discuss issues, keep our employees informed, send invoices and make payments. No business could operate successfully without email. The same goes for social media. Small companies especially rely on social to improve visibility and attract customers. How do you keep track of all the exchanges that take place on those channels?
What Legal Requirements Do I Have?
Many small businesses don’t belong to a regulated industry, which makes email archiving non-obligatory. While it is true that some industries are more regulated than others (healthcare, government, education, legal and financial), every business is required to retain records, regardless of the industry it belongs to. Social media is now considered a business record as well.Every business is required to retain records, regardless of the industry it belongs to. #EmailArchiving Click To Tweet
Regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) mean that small businesses also need to retain important business documentation, including email and social media activity on official channels. Even if there’s no specific archiving law that your organization needs to stay compliant with, archiving your company information has other, equally important benefits.
How Do I Respond to eDiscovery Requests?
If your company is ever involved in a lawsuit, do you have a strategy to compile the required electronic documents? Email is regularly used as evidence in lawsuits, which makes it a common component of eDiscovery requests. The emails involved in the case might be from years before the case. Unless they can be recovered easily and quickly, locating and retrieving them can turn into a time-consuming and costly process when done manually. Your organization would have a very short deadline to produce evidence, and reviewing a single gigabyte of data can cost you a staggering $18,000.
Do I Have an Email Retention Policy?
If you still haven’t created a retention policy, you could be in for serious legal difficulties. If you leave it up to your members of staff to decide which emails to keep and which to purge, you could be left red faced when the request comes from regulators or lawyers.
How Am I Archiving Email at the Moment?
You need to be aware of where and how you’re storing email at the moment and what limitations the current solution might have. If you’re using your messaging software’s built-in archiving features, you need to know that they can never guarantee that you’ll be able to respond to eDiscovery requests in a timely manner. Their search and retrieval options are rudimentary when compared to advanced functionalities offered by dedicated, third-party solutions. These native archiving solutions rely on the same simple search that you use when you struggle to find a specific email in your overflowing inbox. Imagine what would happen if you were to search all company mailboxes with the clock ticking in the background.
On the other hand, a third-party archiving solution indexes all emails as they enter the archiver, which allows users to search the archive using a variety of search criteria and gives precise results in a matter of seconds.
Do I Need a Dedicated Archive?
Still unsure whether you should archive email? If any of the previous questions made you feel uncomfortable, the answer is a resounding yes. An information archiving solution can be integrated and allow you to access all content types (email, social media content, mobile) from a single interface. A dedicated archive stores your data in a secure, tamper-proof format that ensures compliance with federal, state and industry-specific legislation. Archiving tools are designed for easy search and recovery of information, which makes them perfect eDiscovery solutions for businesses of all sizes.An archiving solution can be integrated and allow you to access all content types (email, social media and mobile) from a single interface. Click To Tweet
Cloud or On-Premise?
Both! Before choosing one or the other, the most important thing is to examine all options offered by different vendors. Both cloud and on-premise solutions have advantages and disadvantages, so getting the right information from a vendor you can trust is a necessary first step.
Small businesses that want to remain agile and have archive access on the go tend to opt for the cloud-based archiving solutions because of ease of access and their endless scalability. Moreover, hosted solutions require no capital investment, which often makes them better suited for small business that have a limited budget and cannot invest in archiving hardware. Still, in-house solutions offer unparalleled security and are generally considered safer and more cost-effective in the long run. Most archiving vendors will be able to give you advice and provide solutions tailored to meet your specific needs.
To sum up, using a dedicated email archiving solution has many benefits over traditional storage units. Small business that neglect their company email and social media information are likely to face penalties for non-compliance or inability to produce evidence in eDiscovery cases. To learn more about archiving, check out this infographic.
To learn how Jatheon can help you choose and implement an information archiving solution, schedule your personal demo today.