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Email Archiving Features Your Business Needs in the Digital Age

In the digital era, email archiving is an important function for all businesses. And for those in highly regulated industries with strict compliance requirements, it’s vital. Potentially sensitive data has to be securely stored.

The reality is, a lot of any organizations’ data lives in old emails. With increasing email volumes, we all need a way to safely and efficiently store them. In 2020, approximately 306.4 billion emails were sent and received daily; by 2024, that number will be over 360 billion.

Email archiving enables businesses to hold on to sensitive data without sacrificing server performance. The more effective your system for email archiving, the less hassle for your business. Let’s dive into how email archiving works and what features you should look for in a solution.

Why Email Archiving Is an Essential Function for Businesses

In 2019, the average business sent or received roughly 129 each day. While a good chunk of these are marketing emails, some contain sensitive information and irreplaceable business records. According to Microsoft, as much as 75 percent of an organization’s intellectual property (IP) is held within email and messaging systems.

With email archiving, your data is stored on an external server in the cloud. This means you aren’t keeping thousands of old business emails on your live servers just to ensure you don’t lose all your digital expense receipts, transaction data, customer communications, and other info.

There are huge business benefits to archiving your emails.

  • You don’t have to worry about losing important data forever because of accidental deletion or running into a problem if your email service becomes unavailable when you need to access something.
  • It takes less time to manage and retrieve emails that are efficiently archived – no more transferring emails to Personal Storage Table (PST) files or having to ask the IT team for help with digging up a specific message.
  • Compliance becomes effortless when it comes to preserving the business records and sensitive data your business is required to protect.

How to Find the Right Email Archiving Solution

Because email archiving is an essential tool for data security and compliance in the digital age, be strategic when choosing a service. It should be able to meet your current needs and grow with you.

It also needs to have features that allow you to capitalize on the benefits of archiving your business emails in the first place. Let’s look at some of the key features a reliable email archiving service will have:

Perpetual email capture

A sizable portion of your emails likely contain some business value or must be stored due to compliance regulations. Gartner estimates that about 45 percent of an organization’s emails are related to a business project or contain an official record. With perpetual email capture, you gain total confidence that every message, both sent and received, is captured and stored. As a result, you never have to worry about losing your business’s IP.

When looking for a service, look for one that replicates data to geographically dispersed data centers in real-time. You also want to make sure your service captures both emails and attachments and that it will index all the different file types your business uses.

Easy search and discovery

Email archiving should be a part of any business’s legal defense and compliance protocols. Most statues require data to be stored for between two and seven years. If your business faces legal action at some point, you’ll want to be able to quickly and easily recover specific emails. Email restoration is also useful for audits.

Key features to look for include tagging, filters, advanced search capabilities, legal holds, categorizing, and multi-format export options.

Robust security

The security practices your email archiving service provider uses will impact how safe your data truly is. Data should be encrypted both in transit and at rest. Also, check that the data centers themselves are certified – they should be regularly audited, PCI compliant, and FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) certified.

Compatibility

Many businesses today use Office 365 for email services. While it offers some archiving features, Office 365 on its own isn’t enough for most businesses. This is because you may run into problems with storage limits and capabilities. For example, it only indexes 50 types of file attachments. Also, without the ability to put a legal hold on a file, you could lose essential data due to accidental deletion.

To be able to use Office 365 freely, use an email archiving service that integrates seamlessly with your software. That way, you never have to worry about lost files or running out of storage space.

With a business-grade archiving solution, you’ll also have granular control over data capture and storage, making it easier to meet changing compliance standards.

Intermedia’s Email Archiving solution is fast, secure, and scalable. It integrates with Office 365, on-premises Exchange, Google Mail, and other tools. Download our Email Archiving Overview white paper to learn more.

About Darcy Mekis