This is usually because a) there a more immediate things we need to resolve, b) it’s a task we don’t want to do and would rather spend our time more enjoyably, or c) we feel like we don’t have time to worry about future problems – we have our hands full right now.
But, as anyone who’s ever put off making a dentist appointment knows, delaying the issues troubling us from today to tomorrow can have agonising consequences.
This is just as true for IT directors and IT managers who delay putting an email archiving solution into place for their business. If they do not have a way to capture, store and search their organisation’s email data, there will come a day when an email needs to be found right now and it can’t be – with painful fall-out for everyone concerned.
I’ve put together four of the most common scenarios we at Waterford Technologies hear from our customers.
Scenario 1: Legal requests for data
Solicitors inform the IT director that the organisation is in a legal dispute with another. Legal counsel requires access to any and all emails that may be related to the case. The need to be certain of the following five points before they can begin to formulate their legal position:
1. What was sent?
2. Who sent it?
3. Who received it?
4. Was this exactly what was sent and received?
5. When was this sent and received?
If the IT director cannot answer all five questions in full, the legal team cannot go ahead with confidence and certainty.
Scenario 2: Freedom of information and requests from regulated bodies
An external organisation or internal compliance officer sends in a FOI request to the IT department. Or the financial regulator, or another regulatory body, raids an organisation and demands access to specific data which is in email. It is essential that IT are able to find all relevant information straight away, as any delayed or incomplete disclosures will not be tolerated and will be costly.
Could your IT department meet this request today?
Read more on IT infrastructure in the workplace:
- Unlocking cloud potential: Are business leaders getting what they need?
- Where should the IT strategy sit?
- The perils of popularity: How your business can manage web traffic spikes
Scenario 3: Data leak
One of the organisation’s top account managers leaves and joins a rival business. This account manager looked after the organisation’s biggest and most lucrative clients and there’s a rumour that they exported all of their contacts from Outlook and imported them to their personal email account so that they could steal them for the rival company. The organisation needs to find out quickly if there has been a data leak.
While this isn’t strictly an IT issue, IT would be expected to be able to confirm if there was a data leak that could breach the organisation’s commercial or intellectual property.
Can your IT department do this today?
Scenario 4: Sensitive information is lost
The organisation’s CEO calls the IT director to say they were storing vital information in PST files on their personal laptop, but their laptop has now been stolen.
The IT director should understand that PST files are a security risk, as such; they should not be used for any sensitive information. If they become corrupted, are accidentally deleted, or if the laptop they are on is stolen or breaks down, that data is gone forever.
How can the IT director explain this to the CEO while still looking like they are running their department in an intelligent, professional way, and are in control of the organisation’s data?
Unfortunately, with all of the distractions of busy office life, even knowing about all of the hazards and pitfalls of today’s high tech world, many IT managers wait for one of the above scenarios to occur before taking action and taking control of the organisation’s email data.
However, by that time it may be too late and the damage will have been done.
Email archiving – such as the solutions offered here at Waterford Technologies – enables organisations to reduce the size of their email servers, as well as keeping it secure and searchable – ready for data and information requests and protected against data loss and leaks.
In turn, this protects your business against legal, financial and other repercussions, as well as making the lives of the members of the IT department that little bit easier.
So, unlike those shelves that need putting up back home, this is one job that’s worth not putting off until tomorrow.
Mark Mulcahy is the technical sales director at Waterford Technologies
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