Corporate Email Volumes Continue to Climb and Plans for Lifecycle Management are Woefully Lacking

Businesses worldwide send and receive several billion emails each day, and those figures continue to rise. Email is a double-edged sword, however. With all its apparent benefits and efficiencies, email is a key source of evidence in government investigations, lawsuits and legislative hearings. It is curious, then, that a new study released this week forecasts that corporations are going to increase archiving and preserving email, instead of finding ways to impose lifecycle management and disposition rules that would reduce the overall volume and accumulation of email.

A new storage industry study shows that only about 14 percent of all corporate email accounts are being backed up and archived for future access. That number is expected to climb to 70 percent by 2011. The Radicati Group, a Palo Alto, Calif., technology research firm, reported that worldwide revenues for email archiving vendors and service providers are expected to reach $1.3 billion in 2007 and swell to $6 billion by 2011. For more on this story, see eWeek.com.

This industry study suggests there is a tremendous opportunity for records management and compliance professionals to stem the tide and help corporations reduce storage costs and mitigate risks associated the overretention of email.

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One Response

  1. I often wonder what was used to forecast the market and the future of the industry. We are constantly talking with businesses (both in regulated markets and not) and we find that the perceived need of email archiving is just not there – yet.

    I do know that there is definitely a growing awareness in the business community that managing this data is important. Nonetheless, since it is not necessarily required by law (for most industries) and it is not a direct revenue generator, they seem to choose to continue as they are and wait and see what happens. For now, I think the e-discovery providers are in a great position to grow their business. With the FRCP amendments and the growing amounts of unmanaged electronically stored information, there will be plenty to sift through in pending cases. Once the sting of these endeavors hits the business’s pocket books and, possibly laws begin to regulate all businesses, I feel that email archiving (and records management market in general) will grow quite fast. When/if this will happen I cannot predict.

    Ironically, once our clients are on our archiving solution they begin to use it for everything. Beyond just a way to get to email if they have a civil action to deal with. They use it for HR, productivity and mining corporate knowledge. Now, what can we do to help everyone understand why it is important to do have a solid records management policy and procedure in place?! Not to mention educate them on the value of doing it.

    Here is a blog entry from my partner on the subject that I feel hits it on the head.

    http://emailpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/05/email-archiving-who-cares.html

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