Email has become the main way in which most businesses communicate with their customers in today’s world. There are many standards and rules that organizations typically follow throughout their business, and email communication has its own set of best practices
Given the role that email plays in business operations, the ways in which email processes are operated has become highly business critical. The email client is now one of the main business applications for information workers, potentially involving hours and hours each day reading, replying and collaborating using email communication.
Email management within many organizations means transferring email templates straight from a server into a central location, that is, a repository, where they can be stored. However, the inherent complexity in emails because each email must be classified, and either stored or destroyed, following the same kind of legal regulations that apply to other aspects of business involving records and data. Most organizations now require a system to be in place that can control the quality and the amount of emails that are both sent and received to maintain an auditable, compliant, yet effective email management system.
The huge amount of email content sitting in inboxes and other folders can become a very real risk for a business, and can have an adverse impact on how the servers perform within the organization. The design of these servers was never to act as a repository for such vast amounts of emails; therefore, email management is essential in order for businesses to be able to meet their legal duties in the event of an audit, or litigation or investigation by the government. Without it, the cost and effort needed to respond to eDiscovery and disclosure increases.
Systems of Email management collect the emails that are sent and received by employees that is then classified, and can be managed by the application of access controls and controls of how long they are held, etc. The capture of metadata from the emails can simplify future management.
Archiving is also a main email management application. The most basic solutions involve simply copying and removing messages, or storing them elsewhere. Sometimes, emails can not be archived but any attachments linked to them will be, along with the replacement of a link or stub in its place. Most organizations require programs for the management of all records and data held within its possession and email management is part of this overall strategy to successfully carry out this legal requirement.
Emails are often regarded as a type of record that doesn’t need to be treated in the same way as other information. This is perhaps due to a number of reasons such as;
- The huge volume of information being created and received daily
- Emails may seem less informal than other documents as they are quickly created, stored and shared by everybody from employees to customers
- Attachments are so easily sent with a quick click and off it goes
These widely felt attitudes make it more difficult to implement the same level of discipline as we apply to other types of information, which can lead organizations to develop practices which are less compliant than they should be, such as;
- Not having a retention period and saving all email messages forever
- Saving all messages in the messaging application
- Not apply required caution with regards to personally identifiable information (PII)
- The setting arbitrary mailbox sizes for all users
- Email being declared as a record series
- And, sometimes just doing nothing
The best way forward in order to maintain a fully effective and efficient email management system is to ensure your organization follows rules and policies in place in the same way they would with other records, data storage, and customer information held.