Many businesses and industrial sectors are finding a growing need for reliable email archive systems. As businesses move online, issues previously dealt with by a simple filing cabinet have become traps for those not up to date with current standard digital practice. Whether it is the need to comply with Australian data retention laws, eDiscovery for litigation support or simple preservation of corporate data, email archiving has become crucial for all businesses. This blog addresses 5 key features you should look for in your email archiving system.
1# Offer Unlimited Storage
One major advantage of going digital is the reduction in the need for physical storage space. On the converse, it has now become so easy to communicate by email that a lot of communication previously conducted through other methods (phone or letter) is now conducted by email. This means there is a significant increase in the amount of recorded information people send to each other but a less methodical way of categorising it. In answer to this influx of data any email archiving solution needs to offer unlimited storage.
If you use an on-premise system this could be quite costly, because you will require the expertise to build it from scratch, and then keep up with your growing need for space. Cloud based solutions fix this by offering continuous storage to match data growth. With cloud storage your required data storage space can easily grow and shrink to match your needs, and you will only ever pay for what you use. This offers you the opportunity of a limitless business email archive with an easily controlled cost.
#2 Security & Privacy
Security is a necessary feature of all email archiving systems. You need to focus on three major elements of data security.
- Physical infrastructure
- Data encryption
- Application layer
These three layers of security will help protect you from physical and digital theft. For a discussion of whether cloud based systems or on-site solutions are more effective please have a look at last week’s blog.
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#3 Be Robust
The email archive system needs to be robust as it is required to meet day to day use for recall but also be ready in case of litigation, or the need for quick retrieval of key documents. An on-premise email archiving system will be entirely your businesses’ responsibility to manage and maintain. It is a difficult job and for larger businesses one that can require a full-time position. The consistent update of hardware and the maintenance of archives needs attention, not only to continue efficient storage and retrieval, but also to monitor threats to the system.
Cloud based email archiving systems are built and maintained by dedicated professionals and as such are very robust. In this scenario the vendor carries all the burden of creating a robust infrastructure that can accommodate all your storage and retrieval needs.
#4 Be Easy to Use
The three key areas for ease of use are as follows
- Initial Installation: When you first switch to a new email archiving system it should be intuitive from the start. An on-premise system is obviously more difficult in this instance as it requires installation of hardware and software. Cloud based storage excels in this area as it is conducted by experts who will easily integrate your email archive in to their tried and trusted systems.
- In Use: This is the most important phase as it is the most common. Your day-to-day storage and retrieval should be seamlessly integrated into your other daily digital activities. This will involve an easy interface with quick search and storage.
- Ongoing Maintenance: This is not an area of concern if you choose cloud based storage, as experts will be conducting this on a daily basis at whichever vendor you choose. For an on-site solution this will be far more difficult, as it involves employing trained IT staff and the cost of patching and upgrading servers.
#5 Be Economical
This is an obvious key consideration for any email archiving solution. It would pay to consider the price of not only installing new hardware and software systems and integrating them into your business but also the ongoing maintenance and repair costs they will incur. Furthermore, think about whether you will have consistent growth in the need for data storage space or if your business’ growth rate might fluctuate. An excellent feature of cloud based email archives is that you pay for what you use and they can easily adapt to quick growth. There is also the concern of constant servicing, something you can be assured of when using a cloud-based solution but would have to employ a specialist for with the on-site option. Overall it seems that cloud based-solutions have the edge in that they allow you to focus on managing your business without having to focus on managing your infrastructure.
If you would like to read more on cloud storage please download the full report below.