Do you need to archive your emails? If you have a business, the answer is yes. There can be legal ramifications to getting rid of the wrong data. Too many businesses, though, have an idea that they need to save emails, but don’t really know how to go about it.
A lot of businesses think that backups are a substitute for archiving, which means that when it comes to storing their emails they’re spending too much money on the wrong technology. A backup is intended to restore the system to the state it was in at a specified time in the past. Backups don’t need for data to be easily searchable – they just need it to be accurate. Backups are usually only going to be kept for a couple of months anyway, so they don’t need to be storehouses of knowledge, they only need to be faithful pictures of a particular slice of time.
An archive, on the other hand, needs to contain a lot of information that can be accessed very quickly. One of the major reasons for archiving emails is to satisfy legal requirements. Exactly what were the terms of the contract for selling 1000 purple widgets in March 2010? To be really useful, an email archiving system needs to make finding information about purple widgets sold in the year 2010 very fast and very easy. This isn’t just useful for fulfilling legal requirements; email can contain a wealth of information about a company, and proper archiving can make that information readily available.
In the event of legal request, an old-fashioned backup system will require that data from tapes is transcribed and sifted through. In an archived system, the relevant data—and only the relevant data—can be easily accessed.
Email has rapidly become the most important means of communication for businesses, and it’s a critical asset that every business needs to protect. Archiving provides the flexibility and security to make email valuable and useful for years to come.