Email is among one of the most cost-effective means of communication in the world and remains a vital resource for almost all businesses. The nimble email has replaced many of our previous communication methods but while it is a great technology and can become a problem if not managed properly. One of the biggest issues surrounding email is email archiving. How, if and when should businesses backup their emails?
These are questions businesses have faced for many years but recent research suggests some are failing to comply with both the legal requirements and sensible IT practices. We have all experienced at one point or another losing an email but did you realise just how crucial that email could be in a legal case or in a dispute? Emails are often used to resolve disputes and if these aren’t backed up then there could be a big problem for you and your business.
There are of course other legal implications. There are tight rules and regulations for email archiving in relation to some types of companies and countries. Are you adhering to these? If not, this could become costly. While the options vary widely it is important for businesses to understand both the types of solutions available and what standards they must adhere to. There are also other benefits to having a good system. For example it allows you to focus solely on the core aspects of your business.
The Impact of Failed Email Archiving
A lack of a good archiving solution can be a risky affair for any business. These risks come in form of financial constraints, due to heavy fines that come in hand with bad practices. A good example is the case of Metlife, a popular company that was fined 1.2 million dollars in December, 2009. This was as a result of failure to assess their emails, which made it hard to notice various irregularities regarding the policies of the firms’ external activities. This mistake also made it possible for a 6 million dollar fraud to stay unnoticed for several years.
Another good example is the case of the school board of Bossier, Louisiana, which failed to provide emails needed by attorney John E. Settle. When the board members received the request from the attorney, they realised that they had not considered the importance of email archiving in the recent past. Shockingly enough, the school board only realised this mistake after the attorney requested for the email archives. After realising that they were unavailable, the judge concluded that as far as he was concerned, there was no meaningful cause of action regarding the lawsuit.
Types of solutions for small businesses
Small businesses can always take advantage of the wide variety of email archiving solutions available in the market today. For example, the cloud computing solution via the Software As A Service (SaaS) is suitable for businesses with low budgets. The hosted option is also suitable since this service is normally provided by a separate company and it is less expensive. However, clients will be required to hand over the information to the hosting company for storage, no matter how crucial it is.
How to choose the best email archiving solution suitable for your business
After considering the importance of email archiving in a business, you are probably wondering how to select the best solution. This is where you will have to consider some crucial factors such as the cost of the email archiving solution, interoperability levels, live support services and the presence of migratory solutions. You should also consider the deployment and implementation time scale to decide if it is suitable for your specific business. From the above observation, it is evident that email archiving is no longer a recommended business feature; in fact, it is a must-have feature for any professional business organisation.