Storage

How organizations can benefit by e-mail archiving

by Kalpit Jain, netCORE Solutions, April 17, 2013

From purchase orders, company strategy presentations to marketing creatives, everything flows through e-mails in today’s organizations. Let’s take a closer look at how e-mail archiving helps organizations protect data contained in e-mail messages

Over the past few years, e-mail has become a popular channel for business communication. But, the growth of e-mail has created security and storage issues, resulting in companies finding themselves obligated to preserve records of all e-mails for a number of years. In the new era of Big Data, CIOs experience what it feels to be a gold digger, sans the smudges of dark caves. This is all to find some long lost data that is as obscure as big foot or recovering a crashed mailing client on a CXO's laptop. Couple this with the current snail-paced global economy and the evergreen need to be competitive in the marketplace; a company can waste a lot of time finding important data using legacy e-discovery methods.

IT as a company function is a pretty new idea, particularly in India, considering that Tim Berners-Lee invented the Internet in 1989. Information Technology and its benefits have recently been seen in many European and American companies with the advent of ERP systems of the likes of SAP and PeopleSoft. These systems help optimize a company's functioning at all levels, all the while cutting on paper-printing expenses. Driving the corporate communications landscape is the e-mail -- purchase orders, company strategy presentations, marketing creatives all flow through e-mails in the modern organization. Even though modern, some organizations still prefer to backup e-mail and data using dated CDs and DVDs and mounting them when required. Such a method is often preferred because IT, in some corporate quarters, is still seen as a pure expense.

Present maturity in Information Technology has gifted us solutions to discover any data in few seconds. The spearhead of this techno-swiss-knife are a special class of software that are used for e-mail discovery. Before laying down the ace and calling it a flush in favour of e-mail archiving; let's dive into some common scenarios that a CIO and his team faces in an e-mail driven modern organization.:-

Law Suites

Global and national Indian laws have deemed e-mail as legit evidence in the Court of Law. Some acts that are worth mentioning are Sarbanes-Oxley Act, HIPPA, Indian IT Act 2000 and multitude of others. An e-mail archival system, essentially, keeps the mails in their original form, tamper-proof and encrypted. Any attempt to breach of any kind is of course recorded and reported to relevant members of the organization. But, the breacher won't get anything more than something like "ErNiNooc3BwTrGvGrvhPT4PKopYZKoNhCY62Lx0yAj", that's nothing but ASCII characters, which would require a millennia or more and several super-computers to decipher.

The Email Archival Advantage: Secure, fast recovery while saving time and money.

E-mail Discovery

I recently visited a muti-national cargo company. The IT manager was struggling with a legacy PST backup system to manage the pile of DVDs/CDs on top of an unsatisfactory system. Discovering an old mail using PSTs can be a herculean task of finding a needle in a giant haystack. E-mail archival systems help in searching the unsearchable and that too to the level of case-sensitive phrases within a mail attachment of a mail long-archived in the archival system.

The Email Archival Advantage: Fast e-mail discovery, again saving time and money.

PC Crash

Personal Computers crash faster than the BSE, which might result in loss of precious data. This in turn can lead to indirect loss at times, for instance in a case where an e-mail with crucial pricing info is lost. 

In the age of BYOD and Big Data scenarios, a mail archival system helps users restore one's mails' data in few seconds. The task is simple: Login, Select Date Range, Search, hit on restore! Many e-mail archival systems offer controlling the access to the user archives as well. If the users are given normal access, it might not even be necessary to contact IT support by an employee to restore his/her mails, thus saving the time of IT support and freeing them of such monotonous tasks.

The Email Archival Advantage: Saving time and resources.


Investigations

Imagine a disgruntled sales manager, churning out his contacts and orders to his personal mailbox. E-mail archival shines out as a useful tool here; as all mails are stored in an Encyclopedia Britannica fashion and can be skimmed through like an electron microscope scanning the human DNA. Internal company investigations by the HR team become a cake walk. If the bread-crumbs are in the mails, catching the rougue employee is the cherry on the top.
The Email Archival Advantage: Saving time and resources.

Compliance
ISO, CMIE and several other compliance ruling bodies ordain an organization to comply in a certain way in which mails are treated. In short, e-mails ought to be archived properly, if a company is to get a compliance certificate. Especially outsourcing companies have to comply to such guidelines in order to bag the multi-million Euro deal. Compliance to legal acts also come in this purview. Yet again, an archival system serves this purpose.
The Email Archival Advantage: Winning orders, increasing business

E-mail archival helps in above ways and more. For those still in doubt about the ROI, consider e-mail archival as a long-term investment. The fast ROI would be the time saved in recovering a crashed laptop of a company director. Modern e-mail archival systems help the IT team gleam as heroic angels and the CIO as their archangel. This clever investment is light on the corporate pocket if the mail archival is on open source technologies vis-a-vis a closed source technology. Also, many mail archival solutions are also available on the cloud. The take-away here is to archive mails left right and center, using modern mail archival systems that help in sticky situations where fortunes might have been lost, if it weren't for the mail archiving.

Keep Archiving!

The author is COO, netCORE Solutions

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