Email has overrun our organization. Email servers are at capacity, and countless messages and attachments are squirreled away in PSTs. An email archive or cloud repository seems like a magic fix, but these IT solutions simply repackage the same core problem: excessive email volume coupled with a failure to manage it based on value. It’s unclear what types of email are record-worthy and, if so, what retention rules apply. We keep non-record email for years, without any legal requirement or business need.
Our litigation discovery costs surge as unnecessary email falls within legal holds. Poor content control exacerbates our data security exposure should phishing or other attacks compromise our email systems. And to make matters worse, our employees – especially Millennials – are simply bypassing our corporate systems and conducting company business on personal messaging platforms. We need to regain control.
Getting email under control requires both a plan for improved day-forward management and a defensible approach to ridding yourself of years of accumulation. You start by:
- Identifying the records retention requirements and business considerations pertinent to email content in your organization;
- Developing the right policies and system rules to classify record-worthy email and compliantly retain it;
- Refining your legal hold process to clarify how and when email will be preserved for litigation;
- Deploying a systematic process to segregate and dispose of non-record, non-valuable email;
- Establishing policy and controls on permitted systems for business communication; and
- Providing guidance and training to users on best practices for email creation, management, and retention.