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3 Reasons Email Archiving Is Crucial for Your Company

26 Mar 2015 by Peter Mullens

This article is sponsored by Barracuda, one of our partners, and they provide Insight with content to share with our audience.

The number of worldwide email users, including both business and consumer users, will grow from more than 2.6 billion in 2015 to over 2.9 billion in 2019. That’s according to a recent, in-depth study from the Radicati Group.

As email continues to see strong use in the business world, as well as among consumers, it’s crucial to archive and manage it, particularly for businesses. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Manage email capacity to improve system performance, processes, costs and end-user service.

According to analyst firm IDC, over 99 percent of all documents are created and stored electronically, with around 60 billion emails being created and sent every day. This continual and unrelenting growth in the volume and size of email (and attachments) flowing through organizations means that email storage requirements are typically growing by as much as 30% per year. This record growth impacts everything from operational costs and Exchange system performance, to data accessibility and policy enforcement.

IT understands the importance of centrally managing email data but also knows it is not feasible to maintain all email in Exchange indefinitely. At these growth rates, the associated problems would soon be too much for the business to bear.

Archiving provides extended control over corporate email data, allowing administrators to move less frequently accessed information from the live email environment into more cost-effective secondary storage.

It’s common for businesses to experience a 60% to 80% decrease in the overall size of their primary email store when they archive, improving both Exchange system performance and maintenance processes, like backup and restore. It also allows organizations to achieve a lower overall cost of ownership while providing an improved service to end users.

  1.  Manage legacy email data to comply with policies and regulations, as well as reduce business risk.

The rapid growth of email creates another problem in the form of PST files. Often used to circumvent limited mailbox quotas and created automatically by Outlook’s ‘auto archive’ feature, PST files can be scattered across the entire organization on end-user devices, network servers and even removable devices such as USB drives. The data within these files will usually fall outside of corporate backup and retention processes and is effectively unmanaged. This not only compromises the organization’s ability to comply with policies and regulations or to efficiently discover data, it also exposes the company to legal and business risk.

An effective email archiving strategy includes identifying all those PST files and bringing the data within them back into a central archive to be managed in line with other email data, mitigating risk.

  1. Manage email compliance and discovery to meet information management rules.

As enterprises grow more reliant on email, the business value of that content also grows. Governments and other regulatory organizations recognize this. That’s why they’ve put compliance standards and regulations in place to ensure email is managed appropriately, and the penalties for non-compliance with them can be severe.

The notion that businesses can keep all data indefinitely because disk space is inexpensive is no longer viable. Data growth, particularly email, is so rapid that it can become unmanageable overnight, and activities such as compliance or eDiscovery become more cumbersome as data volumes grow. The challenge with managing compliance and discovery for email is to enforce both the retention and deletion of email as required, and achieve a balance of saving only what is needed, and only for the time that it needs to be saved. It is not feasible or even acceptable to simply keep everything forever “just in case.”

Archiving solutions solve this with a comprehensive set of email management policies that drive ongoing preservation and deletion activities, enabling the organization to follow compliance best practices. And when organizations need to search this email for eDiscovery purposes such as internal audits, HR requests or compliance supervision, the amount of data to be searched is dramatically reduced. Because only relevant data has been retained and older obsolete information is systematically removed, the organization is able to respond more quickly and cost-effectively to compliance audits and eDiscovery requests.

Your goals may be to manage email growth and capacity. It may be to provide centralized management and control over centrally and locally stored legacy email messages. Or perhaps you need to enforce compliance and information management directives. Whether it’s one or all of the above, satisfies these needs and provides an improved user experience.