Email archiving and its growing importance to organisations of all sizes
Today email is one of, if not, the most important communication methods used by businesses of all sizes from all over the world. Thanks to this form of cheap, quick and efficient communication, businesses can send a wide range of correspondence including purchase orders, quotes and sales transactions to suppliers, investors and customers located virtually anywhere.
In this latest Grant McGregor post we investigate the importance of e-mails in business, the vital information that is stored within email and the need for an effective archiving strategy.
Since email has become so widely used, companies are now required to keep copies of their electronic documentation in order to comply with various pieces of legislation. With hundreds and thousands of emails being sent each week, you can see why many companies find storing and maintaining their electronic records a difficult task.
More importantly than that, email is an untapped source of vital business information that sits in individual inboxes and folders. How can this information store be harnessed across the whole business?
The solution is to set up an efficient email archiving process and here we will explain why it is important to organisations of all sizes.
What is an email archive and why is it important?
An email archiving system is designed to extract the contents of an email along with its attachments and store them in a read-only format to ensure the records remain in their original state. Email archiving also reduces the amount of online emails on the mail server, preventing them from taking up too much space.
Many companies choose to take a centralized approach to email archiving. Indexing and storing the contents of emails centrally prevents employees having to have personal archives (or PST files) on local machines and also eliminates the risk of accidental deletion.
One of the main reasons email archiving is important is that it helps companies to remain compliant. Say for example you were asked to provide evidence of compliance by a regulatory body. Providing you have correctly archived your emails, you will be able to pull up the required information and produce it to the regulatory body to prove your compliance.
Electronic records, like emails, can also serve as evidence in court cases or HR matters; another reason why it is important to keep a record of all correspondence.
One of the great things about a good email archiving system is that it will only save one copy of each email, even if an email has been sent to multiple recipients. This means that it will not only save on storage space, it will also save you money.
Email archiving is a great way of storing knowledge – a valuable asset to your business. Keeping emails on record will allow you to retrieve specific pieces of information, should you require them for a report or something else work related. If an email archive can be quickly searched for all messages pertaining to a particular customer or project then this can ensure better service or shared knowledge with others in that project team.
Managing email archiving
When implementing an email archiving system, businesses have two choices. They can either choose an in-house or hosted solution. Using experienced Consultants like Grant McGregor is important to make the right decision for your business.
In-house email archiving
In-house email archiving will require you to have an email repository on a server within your business premises. The main advantage of this is that your own internal staff will be handling your sensitive data. On the downside, the cost of running in-house servers can be extremely expensive, which is why this option is often better suited to large, well-established businesses.
Hosted email archiving
This is a hosted solution that involves your emails being archived and saved to a third party companies’ data centre. If you are operating to a restricted budget or need to get your email archive up and running quickly, this is the ideal solution, as you will not need to invest in hardware and IT staff. Instead of having to worry about on-going software and hardware costs, you will simply pay a set monthly fee to the service provided. This is particularly beneficial to small and medium sized businesses.
With email being such an integral part of business communications, keeping records of your correspondence via archiving is essential. If you are interested in email archiving (either in-house using email archiving software or via a hosted email archiving service) with an experienced and reliable provider, get in touch with Grant McGregor on 0131 603 7910 for further information.