All the recent fuss about email in the news today brings an important piece of advice to mind, and that is that email archiving and regulatory compliance are more important than ever to business
. In fact, archiving is essential in markets such as education, government and finance -- where protecting email data
is an important legal and human resources issue, says Rory Welch, CEO of ArcMail, a Bossier City, La. provider of email archiving solutions.
According to Welch, there are three key reasons that government and education-focused organizations should consider implementing archiving solutions in 2013 and beyond:
1. e-Discovery: Always Critical
Email messages are subject to e-discovery (the practice of discovery, during civil litigation, surrounding the exchange of information in electronic format), which means businesses are required to keep them in the event they are requested for legal proceedings. But the effort to comply with e-discovery requests is very time consuming and can entail searching through years' and years' worth of email, which is why there are a number of technology solutions that address this challenge. These offerings can index and archive all email messages and related attachments -- and do it instantly, offering the ability to search across widespread data repositories from a single location.
Automatically archiving email messages is very popular in business today. It allows organizations to simplify the process of protecting and accessing email data, and provides an easy and automatic way to ensure that efficient and adequate liability and e-discovery protection is in place.
Beyond email archiving, customers in government, legal and financial markets are also in need of archiving to protect other forms of business communications such as instant messaging data as well as content across Salesforce , SharePoint and other applications and platforms. All of this is considered corporate data, and therefore is subject to e-Discovery.
2. Education Market Continues to Move to Google Apps Email
Archiving's growth in the education market has been significant in the past year, with more and more schools moving to Google Apps email to take advantage of the convenience and affordability it offers. These schools -- whether universities or K-12 institutions -- might want to consider an archiving solution that integrates Google-hosted email with email from other corporate sources such as Microsoft Exchange, taking a centralized, hybrid approach to meeting their archiving and data protection needs. The best archiving solutions will be able to simultaneously retrieve, index and archive all email messages -- whether they are hosted by traditional email servers or as part of cloud -based corporate Google accounts. This approach provides more simplicity to busy school IT administrators and speeds up e-Discovery when organizations are dealing with multiple types of content and email platforms because they can simultaneously search across all data sources.
In addition, organizations need to be sure that, whatever solution they choose, they will have the added benefit of owning a copy of all email data, allowing easy migration of that data to new email platforms in the future. Ownership of your data is critically important, particularly in the event that a cloud platform or email provider loses or compromises your data, or deletes it after a certain amount of time.
3. VMware Represents Next Growth Phase in Archiving Market
What's next in information archiving? Welch says that virtualization of hardware, software and networks represents a sea change in enterprise computing, and is already impacting the archiving market in a big way.
As organizations across the government and education markets look to reduce their dependence on costly server hardware and reduce administrative and energy costs, VMware offers a powerful and affordable alternative. And with virtual appliance solutions hitting the market to support archiving in VMware environments, many institutions -- including colleges, universities and K-12 schools -- can gain added confidence in their ability to meet regulatory compliance requirements, while also ensuring that virtualized data is protected at every turn. A college in Georgia recently turned to ArcMail for this very reason, Welch says.
The bottom line is that organizations are in need of archiving and regulatory compliance solutions more than ever, and those that stay ahead of the curve -- rather than waiting until it's too late -- will not endure the pain of lost data or suffer through the time and expense required to effectively fulfill an e-Discovery request.