Office workers globally send and receive over 100 billion emails every day. In addition to the sheer number of emails, many of these messages include attached files. They may also include information that could prove vital in a court case. Email archiving allows organizations to take control of these massive amounts of data.
Specific features vary according to the solution provider, but in general, an archiving solution captures email content and stores it in a separate location. Administrators determine what email is archived and how often the archiving occurs. The archived email can retain the same format and file structure as the active system.
Individual users have the ability to access their own archives in order to retrieve old or deleted emails. And, administrators can easily access and search archived email for the entire organization, including closed accounts for former employees. Thus, an email archiving solution eases compliance and eDiscovery and provides more effective storage management.
Paving the Path to Regulatory Compliance
A quality archiving solution ensures 100 percent email retention, meeting even the strictest regulatory requirements. Because the process archives all emails, sent or received, it eliminates the need to depend on individual users to remember and follow retention policies. Even deleted and draft emails, calendar items and notes are copied to the archive.
In addition, a tamper-proof solution includes advanced reporting that provides a comprehensive audit trail of all actions related to an email. Administrators can see which users have accessed what data. They can also customize retention periods based on type of information or class of user.
Organizations need to be prepared for eDiscovery in the case of litigation or an audit. While many email systems have built-in tools for gathering data, those tools can prove cumbersome and time-consuming.
An archiving solution provides a much more efficient option, with enhanced search capabilities. Administrators can run detailed queries on multiple accounts. For instance, they can tag emails on a particular topic or track every thread of a conversation, including deleted emails. They can then export all pertinent emails for distribution to court.
Efficient Storage Management
Even a small to medium sized company sends and receives thousands of emails every day. Those emails and the attached files quickly eat up storage space. Archiving provides a more efficient method to manage storage while also making information more easily accessible.
Archiving typically involves advanced compression techniques and single instance storage, meaning that it stores only one copy of each message or attachment. Consequently, even with 100 percent retention, archiving saves space.
In addition, when access to archived email is uncomplicated, the organization can limit the amount of email stored on active email servers. Thus, backups become simpler and quicker. Instead of backing up several years’ worth of emails every time, backups include data from just a year or two, as determined by organization policies.
Choosing an Email Archiving Solution
The best time to implement an archiving solution is now. Resist the temptation to wait until your mail servers reach capacity or until the court demands information lost in a vast storage dump of several years messages.
As you research your options, keep in mind that not all archiving solutions are created equal. Priority features include:
- Compatibility – Make sure that the archiving solution is compatible with your email platform.
- Ease of use – In addition to administrators, end users will also need to access the archives from time to time. Look for a system that is easy to use, even for users without a strong technical background.
- Search capabilities – The solution should generate a fully-indexed archive and provide extensive querying capabilities.
- Ability to absorb historical email – A quality email archiving solution provides the ability to migrate email data from your previous archives.
- Focus on compliance and eDiscovery – Choose a solution that meets the requirements of your industry and provides extensive auditing and reporting capabilities.
The right archiving solution will improve compliance within your organization while facilitating eDiscovery and streamlining information management.