Is archiving old emails worthwhile?
For a business, archiving old emails is essential. It can save time, money and also prevent legal issues.
Even so, many companies do not archive old emails and use backups instead. This is a mistake. The purpose of a backup is to allow lost data to be recovered in the event of a system failure, accidental deletion, fire, or cyberattack. Any time data is lost, it can be restored from a backup tape. A backup is therefore an important failsafe.
Backups are not typically saved for a long period of time. Backup tapes are used again and should not be kept indefinitely. If you store backups for legal reasons and have thousands of tapes, you will be spending a small fortune on the wrong technology.
The reason? Backups are not designed to be searchable. If a file is present in a backup it can be restored, but searching for information in a backup file can be difficult and time consuming. Finding information can really be a chore.
An archive is different because email archiving allows fast searches to be conducted. If you sent an email on a particular date, to a particular person, it would be a relatively easy task to obtain this from a backup. However, if you sent an email containing information about a report, or you can only remember certain words, finding that email in a backup could be very difficult indeed. Fortunately, an email archive can easily be searched. Just use a particular word or search term and you will be able to find the missing email in next to no time at all.
There are legal requirements relating to stored data. Many industries are required to keep data for a long period of time. If a legal request is made to supply data, finding the required information can take an extraordinary amount of time. It may be necessary to search through many different daily backup tapes to find the required information.
Email archiving can save you money
- Due to the security risk, backups are often encrypted. To find information, data must be unencrypted, sifted through, restored, and encrypted again. This takes time. In an email archive, information can be obtained much more quickly.
- The more storage space you need the more it will cost. Using backup tapes is an expensive way of storing old data. Email archiving on the other hand allows storage space to be used much more efficiently. Archiving systems can remove duplicates and that can save a considerable amount of space.
- It is easy to move an archived email from one location to another. Migration is simple, even when moving to an updated server.
- Space is at a premium, especially when it comes to email. Email is usually housed on a server that has limited space. Limits have to be set on individual mailboxes, which means many users end up deleting emails when they have reached their storage limit. Busy professionals don’t have time to do this and typically delete huge volumes of emails – including many that are important. IT departments then get requests a few days later asking for a hastily deleted email to be restored from a backup tape. An efficient archiving system eliminates this headache.
- Old emails need to be checked to identify data leakage. When an insider is found to have stolen data it is essential to check email accounts to find out what has been stolen. When audits have to be conducted, it is far easier with archived email than obtaining data from backups.
The flexibility provided by an email archiving system is essential for businesses. It makes old emails much easier to locate, information can be retrieved rapidly, and it is a more cost efficient method of storing old data than backups. If you have yet to implement an efficient archiving system, now is the time to do so. In the long run it will save you a lot of time, effort, and money.