business email archive features

The ability to archive your emails is a necessity for every business – that’s a given. And if this is your responsibility, you are most likely on top of it, familiar with it, or in the process of figuring out what the best email archiving solution is for your organisation. Either way, you will most likely have considered email archiving for one of these reasons:

  • Legal compliance. You simply have to comply with Australian data retention laws, and email needs to be a part of your retention policy.
  • eDiscovery and the need for litigation support. Your organisation might need to speedily retrieve emails if subject to a dispute or legal eDiscovery requests.
  • Storage management. The cost of storing increasing email volumes is a (growing) financial burden.
  • To preserve corporate data. You don’t want to chance losing essential business knowledge.

These are the primary drivers of email archiving and for deserved reason: they are not small concerns. To put each concern to rest, you need a solution that works for you.

Here’s what your email archiving system should do:

1) Be Robust

With an on-premise archiving system, this is your responsibility because the archive is wholly located in your business’ data centre. It’s up to you to install, configure, and maintain the archiving system, as well as its underlying infrastructure. Ensure that you have the resources (up-front capital and dedicated staff) to do this.

With an outsourced email archiving solution, your vendor shoulders this burden. Hosted archiving vendors can struggle with service availability more than their cloud-based peers, as cloud email archiving vendors take advantage of cloud computing’s highly scalable infrastructure – taking more cloud-compute on-demand CPU and geographically-dispersed storage, to power archival functions like data ingestion, data indexing, data search, eDiscovery, and data export.

2) Offer Unlimited Storage

With unprecedented growth in email volume, it is important that your archiving solution does not cost you a fortune in the long-term. If you have an on-premise system you will have to procure the infrastructure to accommodate these needs periodically. A hosted archiving vendor will face the same problem, often resorting to setting data limits for users to help manage storage capacity.

Cloud-based storage solves the concern of storage limits by allowing uninterrupted data growth – without cost or capacity issues. This allows most cloud email archiving vendors to offer an automatic increase on a per-customer basis with no extra cost. In short, you are never out of storage or charged additional fees, despite your email growth.

3) Be Easy to Use

There are three areas where your enterprise email archive needs to be easy to use:

  • Initial implementation. Your switch to a new email archiving system shouldn’t be complex or troublesome. Obviously the hardest solution to implement would be an on-premise system, because you must handle all responsibilities that come with having total control. At the other end of the spectrum, cloud email archiving can allow you to begin archiving in a matter of minutes because you don’t have to install any hardware or software.
  • In action. Perhaps the single most important feature of your solution is the ability to quickly search and retrieve data from an individual user mailbox archive or from across the whole archive. Having fast search with data export features will significantly speed up the eDiscovery process. Many vendors offer free trials to show how fast their systems are.
  • Ongoing maintenance. This is not your concern if you go with a third-party email archiving service, but it certainly applies to an on-premise archive. Arguably the most important consideration attached to an on-site archiving system is the fact that you will have the ongoing expense of maintenance training for IT staff, as well as patching and upgrading servers.

4) Be Secure and Private

To keep your data secure and private you need to consider security at the following levels:

  • Physical infrastructure
  • Data encryption
  • Application layer

Your solution’s security measures must also be compliant with the regulatory data retention requirements that apply to your industry. With these bases covered, you can be sure that your data is secure in transit and at rest.

What serves your budget in the long run?

It is of utmost importance that your investment pays off in the long run, giving you maximum ROI.

If you don’t have the up-front capital to invest in your own hardware, software, ongoing operations and support, a third-party solution would be a better choice, as they allow you to ‘rent’ storage at a fixed cost per mailbox via monthly subscription. There can also be hidden costs maintenance and if it is difficult to search or export from the archive this can add to the ongoing expense.

In our opinion, cloud email archiving has the benefit of scaling with your business coupled with letting you manage your business without managing your infrastructure.

Migrating your business email archive over to the cloud will allow you to

  • reduce storage and maintenance costs,
  • reallocate or eliminate servers,
  • avoid compliance fees associated with data loss; and,
  • reduce the costs associated with eDiscovery and analysis.

For more on this topic, please download the full report: