There has recently been plenty of talk in the archiving industry circles (though few hard facts online) that as of 2020, Google Vault will be charging organizations $45/user/year for their previously free accounts.
Some large organizations in the public sector have allegedly been informed of the coming change. Whether this is true or a hoax, an increase in the price of this range would put a big strain on companies’ budget, especially large companies in government, healthcare, or education sector.
From an archiving perspective, whether this change happens or not does not make much of a difference—Google Vault is not the optimal solution for archiving in regulated industries. And it hasn’t been for quite some time.
Today, we’ll talk about why you need to find a Google Vault alternative if you want to operate in compliance with laws and avoid hefty fines and privacy breaches.
Google Vault Supports Only Gmail
The key issue with Google Vault is that you can only archive Gmail messages. And while Gmail is the most widespread email provider, it is not the only email platform used by businesses in the US.
Data by Reuters show that only 15 companies listed in the S&P 500 currently have Google’s business tools, according to Reuters’ review of public email server data.
Companies frequently use Outlook, iCloudMail, Yahoo!Mail, AOL Mail. And while Google’s email platform is rapidly spreading, the steady number of users of other email platforms for business correspondence shows that there are still many emails that you need to account for. For instance, Office 365 has around 180 million active monthly users.
From here, it follows that that opting for Google Vault means having to skip archiving some business information that could prove crucial in eDiscovery or compliance cases. Not to mention that in regulated industries, such as education or healthcare, you are obliged to archive all business records.
So while using Google Vault helps easily archive Gmail messages, you are risking being fined for not ensuring full regulatory compliance.
Google Vault Can’t Archive Social Media
One of the biggest reasons you should look for a Google Vault alternative is that it can’t archive social media.
This in turn means that you would need to find another software to meet the archiving requirements of your business in order to stay compliant.
As you know, social media is considered official business records, and as such you need to monitor, capture, and archive it in entirety, in line with FINRA, HIPAA, SOX, FRCP.
Over the years, social media has started to make the bulk of business messages exchanged. Government agencies, healthcare institutions and schools all use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to communicate both with their customers and internally.
This trend will likely continue in the coming years, as more and more companies from regulated industries turn to social media platforms for communication.
With Google Vault, you would be forced to purchase another archiving software in order to capture the social media content and be compliant, which adds to the lists of your IT costs.
Google Vault Can’t Archive Instant Messaging and Mobile Messaging
In addition to not supporting social media archiving, Google Vault fails to archive other major business communication channels as well.
Instant Messaging and Mobile Messaging tools have gained in popularity over the recent years, as confirmed by the reports of the Radicati Group which cite strong growth and forecast an even stronger rise in the number of users by 2023.
Platforms such as WhatsApp and Slack are among the most popular communication channels for business. In 2018, WhatsApp introduced WhatsApp Business which has already managed to amass a user base of 300 millions people. As for Slack, some industry data show that around 140,000 businesses use this platform for day-to-day communication, with healthcare, IT, retail, and marketing, construction as the top industries.
All these users exchange millions of messages that all need to be archived.
And with Google Vault, you won’t be able to archive a single one of these messages, which puts you in danger of regulatory non-compliance.
Google Vault Doesn’t Support eDiscovery
The biggest Google Vault drawback is that it doesn’t help with eDiscovery, which is one of the key functions in email and social media archiving today.
With Google Vault, you won’t be able to manage stored messages efficiently, create retention tags and policies, nor index and retrieve required information precisely.
To navigate through eDiscovery, you need an archiving tool that will help you browse through terabytes of data within seconds to retrieve crucial information. This is where Google Vault can’t compete with other archiving industry vendors.
The amount of data generated each business day is on the rise, and will continue upwards in the coming years. All this data is subject to eDiscovery requests and you will need to be able to extract and deliver it upon request fast.
Otherwise, you will miss deadlines and fail to provide key pieces of information.
Google Vault Doesn’t Support On-Premise Archiving
While cloud email archiving is getting traction due to its scalability and flexibility, cloud solution might not be the software of choice for companies working in heavily regulated industries, such as government, healthcare, or education.
In some cases, companies want to be able to have control over their storage facilities, choosing instead an on-premise appliance for archiving.
This is understandable given that with a cloud solution, you don’t have a say in where you data is stored and you might also have limited access to your business data.
Some companies are required by law to have full control over their storage and information. However, Google Vault can’t help you here as the platform only supports cloud archiving.
Google Vault Doesn’t Support Unified Archiving
The bottom line is that Google Vault doesn’t provide a solid overall archiving experience.
Yes, it can support the capturing and storing of some of your business data (Gmail), but it doesn’t allow you to take care of all your archiving needs from a single place.
Why is this important?
Because going forward, the archiving industry will become more demanding and will require that you optimize your processes in order to meet all regulatory requirements.
Plus, Google Vault doesn’t allow you to apply key archiving functionalities on your data sets.
This is a major issue, as looking at the industry forecasts, advanced searches and the ability to export to a variety of formats will be crucial. Google Vault won’t be able to keep up, unless there is a major overhaul or new functionalities are introduced.
What will happen is that the volume of data will keep expanding, the businesses will start using more and more communication channels. And you will need to find a solution that can support all of your archiving needs with as little ‘waste’ as possible.
Jatheon is a global leader in email, social media and mobile communications archiving and ediscovery with 15 years of experience with on-premise archiving and a new, latest-generation cloud email archiving solution. To learn how Jatheon can help you choose and implement the right archiving solution for your business, contact us or schedule your personal demo.