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Getting Serious About Archiving

Maybe it's worse than I thought. Is anyone taking message archiving seriously?
Maybe it's worse than I thought. Is anyone taking message archiving seriously?

I guess it falls into the same category as disaster recovery. No one faults you for spending too little effort and money on disaster recovery preparations until a disaster strikes. Of course, that attitude began to change after 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina brought DR practices to the fore once again.

What is it going to take to get companies serious about archiving?Maybe it's worse than I thought. Is anyone taking message archiving seriously?

I guess it falls into the same category as disaster recovery. No one faults you for spending too little effort and money on disaster recovery preparations until a disaster strikes. Of course, that attitude began to change after 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina brought DR practices to the fore once again.

What is it going to take to get companies serious about archiving?

Our last poll asked readers how far they go in managing messages for compliance, an activity that entails some form of archiving. It turns out that the majority of respondents still take the easy way out, they either don't archive messages or they archive all messages. It's hard to say which is worse.

The tallied responses show that 38 percent of respondents take the kitchen sink approach and archive everything. That meets the letter of the law, but it has to be costing more in terms of capacity and bandwidth. It saves the headache of having to actually manage the process, much, but I wouldn't want to be in their sneakers when it comes time to produce specific messages as business records.

Another 38 percent feigned ignorance about the necessity of message archiving, so we'll assume they either aren't doing it or aren't required to do it per regulations, or both. Either way, they'll enjoy slogging through backup tapes in an effort to produce messages that someone considers material. Even if specific industry or government regulations don't require it, last I looked we still have lawyers, and legal discovery can get mighty expensive without a well-kept records archive.

Of those who reported that they do archive, 13 percent said they archive according to content (key words and phrases), six percent said they focus their archiving efforts on key personnel which could produce messages of material significance, and four percent said they have a context-sensitive message compliance management system in place.

As more headlines report companies getting tagged with fines or lawsuits for not being able to produce records, archiving will become more commonplace. For those squeamish about managing their own archives, plenty of service providers are prepared to take on the job. In fact, archiving and compliance have become big drivers in the growth of the hosted e-mail market.

So, where do you stand?Maybe it's worse than I thought. Is anyone taking message archiving seriously?