Cyber resilience expert at Mimecast Nick Saunders provides reasons why organisations need to see an archive as more than just an old storage box that’s an unwanted necessity, and rather as something they can get value out of.
Archiving records has been considered an uphill battle for organisations for decades. While the format of these records may have changed from paper to pixels, the battle is far from over. In fact, for many, the massive proliferation of records from sources such as email are making things even more difficult to manage in the digital age.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way and organisations that have made the switch from an on premise to cloud archive, have found that archiving can actually simplify how they do business, rather than causing unnecessary stress. Good archiving allows you to find specific records as and when needed, and helps you comply with stringent data storage regulations, such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
But organisations need to see an archive as more than just an old storage box that’s an unwanted necessity, and rather as something they can get value out of. Well-organised, easily searchable and secure records are a business competitiveness booster– and here are just four reasons why.
* Higher productivity – Huge volumes of unstructured email data are like the proverbial haystack when your employees are looking for a specific needle of information. Easy access and functional searchability are therefore a must for any email archiving solution. With less time spent trawling through records, or waiting for IT departments to locate specific documents, employees are free to draw insights from email histories and apply them to current issues or opportunities. And enabling access to archives via the cloud and mobile devices when employees are on the move, improves day-to-day efficiency.
* A rock-solid Plan B – Cyber-attacks, natural disasters or unavoidable downtime — there’s no shortage of ways that businesses can lose email for even a few hours and face significant losses. Having a tamper-proof email archiving system in place insures your business against data loss, should your primary email system be compromised. In the event of an unexpected outage, cloud-archived email records mean your organisation can be up and running again in minutes. Simply put, no disaster recovery or digital business continuity plan is complete without a solid email archiving solution in place.
* Regulatory compliance – POPI has driven organisations to sort out their data practices and avoid hefty penalties from mismanagement of sensitive personal information. And, come May 2018, businesses with customers in the EU will have to be compliant under the EU GDPR. Both regulations require strict adherence to many aspects of data safety, and a complete and reliable archive can help organisations when a compliance issue arises. Furthermore, e-discovery functions of an archive will allow organisations to speedily and accurately sift through terabytes of email threads — significantly strengthening how organisations respond to regulatory queries.
* Lower maintenance costs – Maintaining traditional archives on site rather than in the cloud is a costly exercise, requiring significant, recurring resources to keep them regularly updated. This could tempt IT departments to skip the tasks of implementing important patches and fixes in their system, which only results in additional maintenance costs further down the line. A cloud-based third-party archiving partner will take the manual work out of the equation, keeping records perfectly up to date, and at a lower cost than if a business had to do it alone.
As the data avalanche continues, email is set to become a bigger and more business-vital repository of information than ever before. Businesses would be wise to begin their email migration to the cloud sooner rather than later, through cloud providers who can do it better, faster, cheaper and more effectively.