Much business-critical data resides in email, straining corporate storage. Add to that the need to comply with an increasing number of government regulations and email’s growing popularity as evidence in court, and organisations should look deeper at email storage, retention, and archiving practices.
A secure, searchable, and centralised archive can address the legal, regulatory, business and storage challenges of email.
Looking at why archiving is needed also helps the customer choose the right product or service. Retrieving data from a computer – or e-discovery – may be required for regulatory compliance, human resources department concerns, validation of client correspondence or other corporate needs.
So all organisations require search and discovery capabilities for email, and they are requiring them more often.
Osterman Research found that two-thirds of organisations have needed to refer to email, instant messaging (IM) records or backup tapes to defend a legal case.
Osterman also claimed that some 63 per cent of organisations had been ordered by a court or regulatory body to produce employee emails or IMs.
In fact, email evidence has been the smoking gun in many cases of illegal corporate activity. And that does not include the risks of non-business-related content sent or received by email.
Most IT departments have struggled with storage management for messaging servers. The pressure to increase storage limits is intensifying alongside the volume of email sent each day as connection speeds increase and email becomes more important for corporate communication.
An automatic email archiving system can make messaging servers more efficient, boosting their reliability and speed.
Email has also become the de facto filing system for many enterprises. Everything from sales proposals and marketing plans to competitor profiles, contracts, and personnel files may only exist in an employee’s inbox.
Archiving that information allows users to easily access and search all previous email and can improve productivity.
Also, content cannot be deleted by a disgruntled employee. The trail of information managed by previous staff members remains accessible.
In-house archiving involves buying and installing storage hardware and software for policy enforcement. The second option is to hire an outsourcer that provides archiving as a hosted service.
A hybrid solution combines certain elements of both. Understanding the differences between these options will help you decide what is best for your customer.
Ken Yearwood is EMEA sales manager for archiving at Proofpoint
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