How Do You Sell the Business on E-Mail Archiving?

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5 Ways to Improve E-Mail Archiving

e-discovery requirements are just one of the things a good e-mail archiving/records management system will address. Make sure the system you choose can do everything you need it to do.

Sometimes one of IT's biggest challenges is convincing upper management a particular technology purchase or deployment would be the best thing for a company. Especially if that purchase requires a lot of money up front and then it's rather difficult to quantify the return.


Compliance software, whether it's an e-discovery system, or a PCI or HIPAA compliance solution, is often in that category. When the manager says, "We're decreasing our risk? Ok. What do we really have to show for it?" how does IT respond?


Last week I had the chance to speak with representatives from e-mail archiving software vendors to get their advice about that particular vein of software. Responses were more varied than I thought they'd be.


For instance, Craig Carpenter, marketing VP and general counsel at Recommind, told me the first step is to make sure everyone understands why the archive is necessary, and that it will be much more than a "garbage dump" where e-mail goes to die.


The right solution will be able to serve as a records-management and e-discovery tool as well as an archive. He pointed out that it must also be able to delete e-mail pursuant to company policy. He said:

Most e-mail archiving vendors build products that want to store information forever while most enterprises want to delete information in a timely fashion. The enterprise must win this argument or their e-mail challenges will become much, much worse.

Kevin Ogrodnik, president of Sherpa Software, indicated the right solution will do more than meet e-discovery requirements and allow for better records management. It will also mean improved server performance. When the ever-increasing numbers of e-mail and their "bloated" attachments are moved to a separate data store, server and backup performance won't drag.


Finally, Messaging Architects spokesperson Roumiana Deltcheva reminded me that the right archiving solution will not only reduce the risk of noncompliance with any number of regulatory requirements and improve server and backup performance, but will also cut costs - on e-discovery (whether in-house or outsourced), on e-mail backup and storage, and on overall e-mail management.


While the up-front costs may be larger than the immediate return, the benefits of e-mail archiving will become abundantly clear over time.