Thursday, 22 August 2013

The importance of being email

We're told (by Gartner Group) that 80-90% of an organisation's intellectual property is stored in or sent by email. That's an extraordinary amount. While an increasing amount of communication is using social networks email remains an important channel for a company, especially when you remember that email includes attachments. Might you need to produce them in a legal dispute, or if you want to sell your company? The longevity of email is notable as well, being just about the first mechanism for communication over the internet.

Do you archive your emails? And what does archiving mean in this context. I'm always reminded of the mysterious library in The Name of the Rose, where only the librarian knows how to find anything and the internal structure is kept deliberately obscure. Randy Murray's blog notes that organisation is just as important as preservation when it comes to archiving. (We might note that disorganisation can be a way of deliberately hiding something, such as a book placed on the 'wrong' shelf in a shop for later retrieval.)

Use of the Cloud quickly comes up in discussions about archiving. This isn't just for emails of course, but with tens of thousands of emails being received across some organisations archiving of emails isn't simply a matter of backing up a hard drive. Rackspace make a cogent case for Cloud archiving in their blog, and you might say "they would wouldn't they?". However, there are some useful thoughts in a video on the Computing web site. It's over ten minutes long but worth sticking with. One good point I noted is that while you might wonder how secure your data can be in the Cloud, have you thought through how secure it is on your premises?

Now go and check that back door.

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