In regulated industries, where compliance laws mandate records retention, archiving corporate email has long been an established practice. However, as new laws gets passed and old ones get updated, it can easily happen that an archiving solution that once used to meet all your archiving needs may suddenly become inadequate. Moreover, enterprise information archiving and management is becoming a new focus for investment in companies from non-regulated industries.
If you are exploring the various archiving providers and options for your organization, there must be dozens of things you’re wondering about. To assist you in your efforts, we carefully selected the top 5 questions you need to ask in order to choose the most comprehensive and flexible archiving plan for your business. Scroll down for answers!
With compliance laws getting more complicated, comprehensive and strict, the archival of corporate information has quickly turned from best practice to a necessity. Companies are beginning to understand that establishing clear retention policies and investing into a dedicated archiving solution can often mean the difference between a peace of mind and a lawsuit.
In case you’re still considering your archiving options and providers, you’ll need to take time to explore the various deployment possibilities, the feature set, storage needs etc. In the sea of considerations, here are the 5 questions you mustn’t forget to ask before you make the purchase:
1. What can it archive?
Are you planning on archiving only email, or do you also need to preserve other unstructured data like social media and mobile? Regulations tend to reflect our rapidly changing world, so make sure you double-check which laws apply to your business. If you need to archive social and mobile, check if your archiving solution can support these formats. Ideally, choose one that offers this as an add-on. It’ll save you the time and trouble (and money!) that you’d otherwise waste on getting 3 separate products.
2. Is it scalable?
Archive scalability means that it is able to sustain a growing amount of data and that it has the potential to be expanded in order to accommodate that growth. A flexible, scalable archive allows you to easily adapt when your organization needs change. What if your business grows and you have to archive additional mailboxes? An archive that can be enlarged without trouble will give you an important head start.
3. Is it platform-agnostic?
Don’t forget about compatibility. Ensuring that your archiving appliance is platform agnostic (able to work seamlessly with all major mail server software) is a key consideration when purchasing email archiving technology. Don’t forget to check whether your solution of choice can work with your mail client.
4. Is it compliant with relevant laws and regulations?
All records that involve your organization’s business activity are subject to compliance regulations. For most companies, this will always involve email. This is because email is used to transmit employee records, client records, correspondence between organizations and financial information. All the relevant laws have recently been adapted to include alternative communication channels such as mobile and social media. Always consult a legal advisor and check which specific laws apply to you. Then look for an archiving solution that is able to ensure compliance. Focus on features such as search, retention policy management, user roles and tagging.
5. Will it break my bank?
If you’ve covered everything from this list so far, you’ve already saved your company thousands of dollars. Remember that for information archiving, the value for money really comes through the long-term costs. You’ll understand the real value of an archive when the time comes for that one successfully retrieved email or post to save not only your business, but also your reputation. Still, you should always try to get the best possible feature set for a reasonable sum of money. Take the time to understand how the costs are structured and, most importantly, find a vendor who you can trust.