Why Your Information Governance Strategy Must Start with Email

May 28, 2018 by Jatheon

Information governance, that often elusive concept that quickly became a buzzword in meeting rooms around the globe, can best be defined as a holistic approach to managing corporate information. Still elusive? IG is a super-discipline that covers people, technology and processes that ensure that business information is handled, managed and stored in accordance with corporate standards and best practices. To make things even more complex, it’s often difficult to determine where information governance ends and other, similar concepts like information management, compliance or business intelligence begin.

The main goal of information governance processes is to empower organizations to maximize the value of corporate information (now mostly electronically stored information) and use it as a business asset. A thorough and well-designed IG strategy helps organizations to ensure regulatory compliance, reduce costs associated with fines and litigation, increase operational transparency and boost staff productivity and efficiency. In addition, implementing information governance practices also reduces serious risks associated with poorly managed unstructured data and costs of storing enterprise information.

The main goal of information governance is to maximize the value of corporate information and empower organizations to use it as a business asset. Click To Tweet

Where to Begin with Information Governance?

Begin with what you use the most and what you know best ‒ your email. Streamlining email management should be at the top of your list of information governance priorities. Despite the feeling that alternative communication channels are taking over, email still reigns supreme as the number one communication medium in both large and small-to-medium enterprises.

It is estimated that 75% of business-critical information resides in your email. What if your employees delete some of these emails in an inbox-cleaning spree? What if there’s evidence of fraud or employee misconduct that you can’t detect because you don’t have the proper tools? What if you have terabytes of email data that you suddenly have to move? With 77% of information governance professionals admitting that their organization has trouble with email compliance, it is crucial for businesses to be able to provide definitive answers to these questions.

Where’s Your Email Stored?

Recent years have brought the rapid and progressive growth of email traffic, putting a pressure on companies to handle their email communication and storage space with much more care than ever before. Facing problems with inbox overload, regulatory compliance and lack of storage space, most companies do a poor job of maintaining their email integrity and efficiency and continue using email servers as storage solutions. However, an obvious and major downside to email is that it clogs your email servers.

Many companies continue using mail servers as email storage solutions. However, an obvious downside to email is that it clogs your servers. Click To Tweet

The volume of information we send and receive via email soon starts to accumulate and overwhelms our inboxes, significantly reducing the servers’ storage capacities. Large corporations employing more than 500+ staff members might have to store terabytes of mailbox data onto a single email server. This much data will most certainly result in an impaired performance.

Piling up of emails, poor folder hierarchies and the absence of a systematic approach to email organization leads to degradation of mail servers, which were never really intended to act as storage repositories for vast amounts of email. On the other hand, all business-critical data, especially email, must be readily available at all times, even in extreme cases of downtime and server failure. So what do you do?

How to Manage Email and Boost Governance with Archiving

For proper email management, it’s unacceptable to simply store your emails on a server and wait for disaster to strike. The disaster can be anything from server failure, quiet bit rot or a sudden eDiscovery request. Recent eDiscovery stats are alarming ‒ It costs around $18,000 to review 1GB of data in an eDiscovery case, and still, almost 40% of US corporations have not employed any eDiscovery technologies.

To have complete control over your company email, you need to make sure it’s stored (and destroyed) in a manner consistent with established regulatory standards and business practices. Moreover, in order for you to be able to pinpoint specific data in millions of exchanged messages, your email needs to be made searchable, and that’s something that backup or servers simply can’t provide.

Email archiving is an automated process in which all incoming, outgoing and internal email traffic is tracked, captured, retained and protected so that the messages can be accessed at a later date if necessary. Some of the most obvious benefits of email archiving include an improved audit and eDiscovery response, adherence to various federal, state and industry regulations, as well as security and tamper-proof quality of data.

An email archiving solution can be an on-premise appliance or a cloud-based solution that automatically obtains emails and attachments (but also social media posts and other unstructured data) together with all their metadata. Metadata is important because it gives us critical information about each message ‒ who sent what to whom, when and through what channels. It’s a must-have for eDiscovery and can prove innocence or guilt when solving internal employee conflicts. The archiving software then indexes and stores this information in an inalterable, WORM format for a specified period of time in accordance with your email retention policies, but also has special features that allow users to search huge volumes of data incredibly fast. Furthermore, this type of secure data storage is particularly important if you handle sensitive and confidential information because it mitigates the risk of leaks and data breaches, while customizable user roles and access levels provide clear insight into who has access to what.

Conclusion

Email archiving is an email management and information governance practice that allows you to retain and actively use your company’s email and also be 100% sure it’s perfectly secure and protected. Archiving solutions also let you monitor information access, streamline information management, increase data security, ensure compliance and make your eDiscovery response faster and more efficient. Insight obtained from your archived data will give you a clear picture of staff-associated risks. It will help you understand the real value of your business information and allow you to govern it proactively across all your departments.

Jatheon provides premium email, social media and mobile archiving and governance solutions to 500+ organizations around the world. To learn more about archiving your corporate data with Jatheon, contact us or schedule a personal tour of our email archiving software.

Schedule Your Personal Demo

Look inside Jatheon’s solution to see how to better manage your corporate email and messaging data. Leave us your contact details and we’ll get in touch and show you around.

Join over five thousand happy businesses using Jatheon.