Email archiving is one of those solutions you think you will never actually use. Even if that was actually true, it still doesn’t mean that you should ignore it.
According to statistics, the average office worker received about 90 emails a day and sent around 40 business emails daily between 2014 and 2018.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that corporate emails can quickly add up, making you risk running out of storage. You can’t simply delete those emails because they contain important information you might need further down the line.
So, how do you store all those important emails?
That’s where email archiving comes into play.
Email accumulation can quickly clutter your servers and cause productivity problems. Some businesses even impose email quotas in order to save space on their servers. Besides the sheer volume of emails sent each day, another thing to keep in mind is the email size.
However, you don’t have to resort to these limiting practices in order to keep your live servers running smoothly. Email archiving will help you save space and avoid server overload, without limiting your daily communication.
Allowing communication without limitations is essential for productivity. Additionally, by setting up automatic email archiving, your employees won’t have to spend time manually deleting emails to free up some space, and your IT team will also be more productive if they don’t have to retrieve accidentally deleted emails.
Not only is email a perfect tool for business communication, but it also serves as an extremely useful searchable information base.
All important files and documents, appointments, and contacts are kept in your email base. Besides internal communication, your email system also contains a record of communication with your business partners, customers, prospects, etc.
Email archiving will allow you to both secure this sensitive data, and use it as a corporate knowledge repository which will allow you to easily access corporate information whenever you need them.
Email archiving solutions provide useful knowledge management tools such as advanced search and retrieval functions, that enable your business to successfully manage the knowledge base contained in the company’s email archive.
Apart from that, you can also use this knowledge base to find out what topics are discussed the most, how long it takes for your employees to respond to email, etc. and use these insights to optimize your day-to-day operations.
As email is the primary channel of business communication, your email archive will contain a lot of sensitive business information, not only about your business, but also about your clients and business partners.
Most industries have strict regulations in order to protect this data, especially the government sector, financial services, and healthcare industry. These regulations and standards also vary by country or state.
Enterprise email archiving will help you store your emails in compliance with these regulations. Just make sure to do your research and choose the solution that offers compliance with specific federal, state, and industry laws that apply to your business.
Even if you make sure that you follow all the regulatory compliances, legal issues can still occur. According to the 2019 Litigation Trends Annual Survey, more than 50% of businesses foresee data privacy and regulatory issues as a new source of dispute in the next 2-3 years.
In case you run into any legal issues, your email archive can serve as a source of evidence. As most of the business communication nowadays is done electronically, mostly through email, you might be requested to disclose your emails as evidence in legal cases.
This process of identifying and delivering emails and other types of electronic information that can serve as evidence is called eDiscovery. With the help of an email archiving solution, eDiscovery will run much faster and smoother, which will save you both time and money you would otherwise spend on the legal process.
Even though employee monitoring is a somewhat controversial practice, there are ways to do it ethically.
While there is a need to enforce some kind of employee monitoring, your employees probably won’t feel comfortable if they feel like they’re being spied on. Make sure to have a clear workplace policy and disclose it clearly and transparently in order to build trust and ensure a healthy relationship with your employees.
Once you’ve set clear rules and boundaries, you can use your email archiving solution to set up certain keywords that will signal that these rules have been broken.
Monitoring your employees’ communication doesn’t mean reading each of their emails. It simply means automatically scanning not only for breaches that could hurt your business, but also for harmful practices such as mobbing and sexual harassment that could seriously hurt your employees.
Even though you might be tempted to skip email archiving solutions and save some money, they have many useful purposes, from freeing up space on your servers and improving productivity, to offering a comprehensive knowledge base and ensuring regulatory compliance. Besides, if you end up needing it for a compliance audit or an unexpected lawsuit, hiring external teams to extract the data would cost you way more than what you would pay to regularly archive your emails.
Hayley Hoskins is a SF-based business & tech blogger, internet nerd, and data enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter @hay_hoskins.