What is email archiving?

Email archiving is a system that allows an organisation to automatically record and store all emails (including attachments such as word documents and spreadsheets) as they enter and leave the company.

Why do I need it?

Certain types of organisations have to comply with legislation and codes of practice and keep a record of all communications such as emails and chat for a set number of years.

What about the legal issues?

You need to be aware of the legal issues and co-ordinate either with a lawyer or your HR department as you need everybody to agree to a written ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ i.e. what the email system can and can not be used for. Furthermore, you need to have a data retention policy in place. This needs to written and approved by your HR, IT and legal departments or by a specialist organisation.

Do I need to keep copies of both ingoing and outgoing emails?

Yes. You need to keep copies of both ingoing and outgoing emails, especially as you may need to show an audit trail of communications between two or more parties.

Can chat and other forms of communications be archived?

Most forms of communications can be archived, including chat, mail, internet mail and messaging.

You will need to check the capability of the software that you are buying to ensure most or all of the areas are covered.

What happens if a ‘new’ type of communication is developed a while after I have purchased my email archiving system?

Normally, companies develop their software according to what is being developed in the market place, so it most likely that you will be able either to upgrade your existing package or add a module to be able to deal with it.

Who should have access to the content of the material that has been archived?

This should be left to very senior personnel or HR. Clearly you can not let anyone use the system as this will be in breach of Data Protection laws and in some cases Human Rights.