When email was first invented, nobody really thought of it as a documents distribution system. These days, however, not only are documents attached to email, but the email itself can be considered a legally binding document.
To make it simpler to manage emails as documents, Harmon.ie today upgraded the Information Governance module it makes available as part of a suite of software that simplifies moving emails and documents in and out of the Microsoft SharePoint document management system.
Those new capabilities include the ability for end users to automate the email capture process, mechanisms to enforce policies that determine which emails should be enforced, as well as giving end users tools to designate an email as an official record.
Harmon.ie CEO Yaacov Cohen says government agencies and various court rulings have made it clear that an email can be construed as an official document. The trouble is that only a relatively small percentage of all the emails sent are supposed to be an actual business document. Imposing a process to sift through all those emails represents a major governance challenge, says Cohen.
“A lot of the rules are still pretty vague,” says Cohen.
As more business is conducted in the digital realm, many more emails are going to wind up being stored in repositories such as Microsoft SharePoint. Most organizations may not ever be able to capture 100 percent of those emails. But at the very least, they will need to demonstrate that they have a consistent set of policies in place for managing the ones that matter most.