A Holistic Approach to Email Management in the Cloud
The benefits of a holistic email management approach are threefold
By: Mary Kay Roberto
Dec. 9, 2008 11:43 AM
Email is the lifeblood of today's business environment. Not only do employees need constant email access to do their jobs effectively, but, due to recent changes in regulations and the threat of litigation, companies also must have the ability to retrieve emails dating back several years. However, a recent survey shows that half of U.S. companies are at risk of non-compliance due to insufficient email archiving policies or capabilities. The survey also pointed out that regardless of company size, 39 percent of IT managers reported email security as their biggest email management issue. In order to minimize risk from costly litigation losses or business downtime, IT departments need a cost-effective and holistic solution for email archiving, continuity and security.
Email management is a logical application for SaaS because it eliminates the oppressive implementation and maintenance burden on IT, reduces cost, and facilitates the greening of an organization's data centers. This article will discuss the need for a holistic approach to email management, which addresses the barriers that IT departments are facing, such as managing crucial email more cost-effectively, securely, and efficiently.
It's not an exaggeration to say that email is the primary communication tool in business today. More than 90 percent of communication and document sharing takes place electronically. IT resources in the area of email management are mounting as business is increasingly dependent on the real-time continuity of email as a business tool. In addition to always-on service, IT managers are continually in pursuit of virus and spam protection, data leak prevention, eDiscovery, and mailbox management solutions to help achieve a "bottomless" mail store. As email grows, the email administrator not only has to address storage, but how to provide all the functions that make email effective, compliant, and risk free.
The biggest single difference between good and great email management is access to appropriate and sufficient technical resources. Not every company has an expert in policy setting or security under its roof. Today, companies of all sizes are facing higher litigation risks and costs and when the burden of eDiscovery presents an urgent need to search the mail store, even the most well-managed email solution is taxed - not just in its ability to accommodate a search and retrieval request, but in the human resources required to cover the task. When the delicacy of data in some company environments is considered, as in a law firm for instance, the ability to assign certain tasks to more nascent members of the IT staff is limited, leaving one or two people to shoulder most of the mail management responsibility. Multiply that responsibility by the number of offices in a large organization and the concern mounts.
Having the right plan to address every single disparate function is also a big differentiator with good email management. When running many proprietary point software solutions, the resident expert is challenged to stay on top of the ever-expanding techniques of each system. If the company is running third-party software in-house, this still requires a great deal of management in escalating hardware and software needs, licenses, storage, patch management, upgrades and failsafe backup. This host of fragmented systems needs constant monitoring to ensure a safe email environment.
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