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Guest View: Getting smart about email compliance

Mark Bentkower, Director of Enterprise Solutions Asia Pacific, CommVault Systems | June 17, 2014
In today’s business environment, where messaging data continues to grow at exponential rates, the need for archiving is more important than ever.

In some verticals, such as e-commerce, emails are often the only transaction record. For these organizations, records management capabilities are paramount.   Advanced email archiving solutions answer this need, and can provide a single system of record that can be integrated into the wider transaction database.

2.      Align strategy to legal requirements

In addition to internal organizational compliance, organizations must also contend with continuously evolving external regulatory requirements. Regardless of industry or sector, any corporate information generated within an organization may be subject to regulatory or litigation requests - corporate emails included. The risks of non-compliance are significant, and can lead to legal, financial and reputation damage. Organizations need to develop solid plans for the reliable retention of enterprise controlled information.

IT decision makers need to understand the organization's business requirements in order to set the correct retention policies. However, without knowing the business' legal needs, how can IT do its job? IT departments cannot be expected to be the compliance experts within an organization.

The role of IT should be to provide technical guidance in email compliance and larger data management regulatory issues, documenting and codifying information governance policies, creating rules in the system, and selecting the most efficient deployment system for achieving corporate objectives.

Different vertical organizations will find that their strategy meets different legal requirements. For example, the banking, healthcare and finance sectors have complex regulatory environments which require precise collection procedures. Automated eDiscovery processes can serve to effectively satisfy these prescribed information requests. By building eDiscovery into the email archiving solution, internal IT and legal departments can align and operate together more efficiently, saving both time and money in attending to these information requests[3].

3.      Invest in purposeful, efficient, training

Finally, if enterprises are to fully utilize email archiving benefits, they must be willing to invest in proper training. When it comes to email compliance, archiving solutions can provide untold benefits, but only when users are confident in their capacity to use it. Many vendors offer training, either as an option or as part of the implementation of the software. However, it largely falls to IT departments to make the key decisions of when and who to train.

It's a given that IT staff should receive training, but IT should look beyond training its own teams. Helpdesk and compliance staff should have some understanding to create legal hold processes when litigation is anticipated, to maximize search benefits, and export information for legal presentations. When compliance officers are trained on administrative controls and procedures, and are confident of performing basic search and recovery operations independently, this frees up the IT department to focus on driving key business objectives.


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