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Email Management Basics – How to Store Emails Effectively

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Many, if not most, businesses are amazingly casual about email retention, email storage, and email management in general. At the same time, the percentage of business actually conducted by email continues to soar. Many businesses think they have an email archiving system, while what they actually is an email storage system.

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A business may carefully back up its system daily, accomplishing email storage, but is that backup correct or useful? Consider habits employees may have, such as deleting emails they don’t think they need or keeping hundreds of emails either in their in-box or their own system of folders, not only posing an email management problem, but also making it very difficult to retrieve important emails later.

Employees are likely to need hours, if not days, to find an old email, and if they’ve left it can take weeks for someone else to do so. Much of the time spent chasing down emails is under the radar – employees aren’t going to bring that to a supervisor’s attention if they can help it.

To avoid overwhelming their email storage, many businesses have formal or informal policies that direct employees to delete emails after some period of time so email storage doesn’t overwhelm the system, but that means all emails go. Because backup systems are incremental, data is somewhat readily available for up to a few months, but after that employees are faced with the additional problem of which backup contains the right information.

One of the primary assets of email archiving is that important emails - and their attachments - are always saved. Any message needed will be readily available in a good email archiving system, and will be date stamped so there is no question whether anyone might have altered the message. A good email archiving system saves all messages, in and out, both internal and external, and can handle several years worth of email storage, as needed, while still providing fast searches through the email archiving system.

While finding a given email may be difficult, finding an attachment is hundreds of times more challenging, even in a system with good email storage in a backup system. Most systems are incremental, backed up for a period of time Finding the right backup and opening dozens, or hundreds, of email messages to see if a particular document is attached is more than daunting.

Email archiving solves problems, including email storage taking up huge amounts of room on a system and email retention that won’t be affected by employees who store messages (and attachments) into a folder system they concoct on their own, or delete emails quickly. An effective email archiving program also provides email compliance, ensuring that messages and attachments are tamper-proof.
Published: 2009-05-14
Author: Mark Burgunder

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