FAQ

Which organizations should be thinking about email archiving?

There are three reasons why organizations should think about email archiving. The first is because they have to. Some organizations are subject to record retention regulations and those regulations now apply

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in some cases to email. Organizations must find a way to preserve those business records for three, five or even seven years. As an example, HIPAA in the health care industry requires records to be kept for the life of a patient and if a doctor corresponds with a patient or provides medical advice, it's now a medical record that must be retained.

The second reason why organizations should look to archiving emails is a little bit tertiary to the record retention regulations, and revolves around electronic discovery (e-discovery). Eight out of ten electronic discovery events for civil procedures or for regulatory inquiries involve email. So, employees are willing to say almost anything over email, they share contracts and business documents, and that's why they're so popular with litigators and regulators. Right now, many organizations spend a lot of time searching through backup tapes, PST files, NSF files and file shares looking for emails to produce in electronic discovery. If you archive them all in one central place, that gets much easier.

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The last reason, which has to do primarily with IT benefits, is archiving email to expand mailbox limitations while reducing storage costs. Today, about three quarters of organizations deploy mailbox quotas. If you hit your quota, an employee cannot send or receive email, so there is a productivity impediment. The reason mailbox quotas exist is because of the storage costs. The more messages, the bigger attachments -- it costs a lot of money to buy storage. Organizations can deploy email archiving to move messages from a primary environment to a secondary environment, whether that be disk or optical or some other media type. They can store older messages online and more accessibly at lower costs. Employees are happy because they still get access to their old messages and they don't get the annoying 'you've reached your quota' reminder.

So, the three reasons are compliance, e-discovery and IT resource management as it applies to Exchange, Lotus or other messaging environments.

Go back to the beginning of the Email Archiving in 2008 FAQ Guide.

This was first published in April 2008

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