How long should email be retained?
This is an important question for businesses, considering e-discovery used in legal proceedings demands access to email history. To help clarify internal communications it is also important to maintain a history of the internal history of emails. Finally, there are industry regulations that demand that businesses retain email (e.g., Sarbanes Oxley, HIPAA). Based on the requirements of a business is subject to, IT and end business users should define an appropriate email retention policy.
When do we take out the email trash?
Email is a major source of Big Data rubbish collection. For example, when a user sends an email with a large file attachment to a list of 20 other recipients throughout the company, that attachment gets copied multiple times on disk, eating up storage in the process. The way IT can ensure a more compact repositories of email history is by using techniques like de-duplication to weed out unnecessary duplicate data.
Do we need a dedicated server for email?
Many small and medium-size businesses share email with other systems on the same server maximising their server capacity. But this combination of systems on a single server can also complicate disaster recovery for your email, making email unavailable for extended periods of time. Email is one system that presents a strong argument for a dedicated server because it is so vital to your business communications.
Should we outsource email to the cloud?
Businesses are making the move to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to save on software licensing fees, and part of this movement has also included email. Yet, as more companies begin to see their email as mission critical, not as a commodity office system, there is also movement to keep email as an internal system. IT managers need to weigh the cost and administration requirements of in-house email management versus moving email to a third-party cloud hosting services.
What’s the best way to integrate email with other systems?
Recently, businesses have moved to total integration of email with instant messaging, VoIP (voice over IP). The aim is anywhere/any time instant access to employees. Employees can also forward work-flows from integrated messaging to others when they’re off grid. If you need this integration for your email but still don’t have it, the best way to get it is to find a vendor-business partner with the expertise to help you with your integration.
How clear is our email policy?
An email usage policy that gets reviewed annually with employees is highly necessary, although most companies don’t do this. The consequences can be severe.
Do employees understand that the company “owns” their email?
The First Amendment guarantees one’s right to privacy and also the right to free speech, but corporate email is a company asset. Employees need to be made aware that by using their work email to communicate, they are representing their company. Corporate email should not be used as private or personal email, and never be used to divulge corporate intellectual property without the appropriate authorization. These practices should be stated in employee handbooks and regularly reinforced. When there is a breach of email policy it is the responsibility of IT, HR and business managers to ensure that everyone in the company has a thorough, upfront understanding of corporate email position on privacy, intellectual property, etc.
Do we have a set of best practices for email automation?
Normally, employees can set their email for automated messages: “I am out of the office until further notice/or specified date, in the meantime please contact...etc.” If you have a corporate policy need to standardise which automation messages and practices employees are to use, employees should be informed of these standards, to ensure email automation is consistent.