James Clayton, Head of Sales at Cryoserver
Email is a dominant form of communication in both our personal and professional lives. According to statistics from Radicati, in 2015 the number of business emails sent and received per user per day is 122 whilst the same report suggested that by the end of 2019, the number of worldwide email users will increase to over 2.9 billion. For businesses, this raises the challenge of efficiently managing communications and, in the face of changing regulations and increasing demands to share data, this challenge is increasingly acute.
But, if you can master efficient storage and management of email you will save time, be supported in meeting regulatory requirements and day-to-day tasks will run more smoothly. Here are three key elements I would advise businesses to think about.
First, consider the volume of requests for data your organisation receives. Businesses are often subject to external eDiscovery requests when communications are needed as evidence in criminal or civil legal proceedings. Or, if your business processes personal data you might receive Subject Access Requests (SARs) from clients who are entitled to the personal information held about them under the Data Protection Act. HR teams will often call upon communications when they are looking into internal complaints or resolving employee disputes and it is easy for employees to delete or misfile important emails in their personal inboxes. Retrieving emails can take up valuable time and resource, increasing calls to IT helpdesks or using employees' time that is better spent elsewhere. And of course, lost time has a financial implication for businesses too.
The solution is simple in principle: organisations must have easy access to their email archive and the ability to search high volumes of communications quickly. This will reduce time taken for company-wide searches and reduce support calls to IT teams by limiting search tasks. And that saves valuable time, money and resource across your organisation.
Second, you should think about the regulatory pressures faced by your organisation and explore solutions that will support you in meeting these. In the financial sector, there is increased pressure from bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to maintain the integrity of your communications. Emails are often called as evidence in legal cases or during HR investigations, so it is important that you are confident you can access them in full and untampered whenever you need.
A solution that maintains a tamper evident trail will highlight communications that have been falsified. This means that during legal proceedings you can be confident that the evidence you are presenting is accurate. Additionally, when managing internal issues this will support your HR team and avoid unnecessary conflict.
Third and finally, the solution you implement should support the day-to-day running of your organisation. With employees' inboxes often reaching capacity and the volume of emails received slowing down day-to-day tasks, a solution that frees up space on the mail server and supports employees in working more efficiently is key. Taking email off the mail server means that your business can run more smoothly: employees will be able to send and receive emails more quickly and waste less time waiting for attachments to download or emails to load. Limiting the volume of email on the mail server will also reduce premium storage costs.
So all in all, while email management might not be top of your priority list, there are some quick wins to be had from reviewing and upgrading your archiving system.