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Important email archiving questions for small businesses

Email archiving solutions sound like they are only useful for large enterprise-level organizations. For small businesses, it often seems to be too much hassle to implement an archiver, so many don’t bother. However, if you are small business owner, you shouldn’t ignore the benefits email archiving can bring you.

Ask yourself the following questions to see if email archiving is right for you.

Is email important to my business?

Even if you don’t use email to sell to your customers, it doesn’t mean that it is unimportant. The answer, in all cases, is that email is ‘very important‘ to your business.

All companies use email every day to discuss issues, inform employees and invoice customers for payment. Without email, a business simply can’t function properly.

Are there any legal requirements I have to follow?

If you run a small business, you might think that you aren’t in a regulated industry. Depending on what you do, some industries have much stricter regulations than others, particularly healthcare and finance.

Also, every business is required by law to retain their business records. Legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) mean small businesses must retain emails should they be required for legal purposes.

How will I comply with eDiscovery requests?

Any business can potentially be involved in a lawsuit. If your business needed to carry out an eDiscovery request, how would you provide the relevant email documentation?

Email is used in many legal cases, making it a common part of email archiving requests. Requested emails can be from many years before the case started, so if they can’t be recovered easily, it will most likely be a costly process to find them manually.

Do I have an email retention policy?

By not having an email policy in place, you are placing yourself at risk of serious legal complications. If employees are able to delete any email they wish, you could find that you can’t provide a vital piece of evidence when a legal request comes in.

Am I archiving emails right now?

It’s important that you are aware of how you store emails at the moment and the limitations this might cause. If you’re backing up emails on storage tape, it will be difficult to find any information when you run the tape. It will also need to be replaced once it is filled up.

With online backup, you avoid some problems but unless it is accurately archived, it will still take considerable time to find any important emails.

Should I used a dedicated email archiving solution?

Basically, the question you want to ask is “Do I need an email archiver or not?” If any of the questions above has worried you, then the answer is definitely yes.

With an email archiver, you can store all emails in a secure and compliant fashion. It will be designed to be easily searchable and make all of the above questions easy to answer too.