100% Capture = 100% Knowledge

                Corporations that have invested in messaging archives and services are reaping benefits far beyond reducing risk and discovery costs. The ability to find every message to or from a user has enormous business intelligence and incident resolution potential beyond the traditional discovery scenarios. The traditional archiving platform value propositions of storage reduction and retention management showed clear ROI (Return on Investment) for large enterprise infrastructures where the investment in servers, centralized network storage and IT expertise were a tiny fraction of the overall cost of keeping and retrieving ESI.

The secondary business usage scenarios were just an added bonus in light of multibillion dollar discovery budgets. Not so for a small to medium business in a non-regulated industry with only 1000 – 2000 users. With only one Exchange server and probably one messaging administrator, there has been understandable reluctance to make the $50 – 100,000 investment for the smaller pieces of litigation and volume of historical email. The litigation profile of these smaller, more nimble corporations did not justify the expense and effort to implement enterprise wide archiving before the new Federal Rule of Civil Procedure came into effect on 12/01/2006. Now the single or minimal inside counsel are struggling to explain to their board of directors why the possible sanctions and bad publicity require such a drastic change in their corporate data management lifestyle.

“Why can’t we just make everyone keep PSTs and keep the back up tapes?” asks the CIO. Using mailbox limits forced users to move email off of the expensive network storage to cheap local storage. It also created thousands of copies and put the core of the corporate IP at risk, but that was not IT’s problem.

The dramatic increase in the hosted and SaaS archiving services over the last two years have suddenly given these corporations a way to realize the benefits from archiving without the heavy up-front investment. Many have quickly uncovered the hidden business value of enterprise search across the complete historical message collection. Suddenly, they can backtrack leaked pricing, salary and other trade secrets to find the few rotten apples in their barrel and weed them out.

One of the hardest things in a HR investigation is to disprove false accusations of sexual harassment, inappropriate content, fixed bids and many other scenarios. It is very easy to fake printed out email and IM conversations that would not stand up to close scrutiny if still in electronic form. The only way to prove that someone did not send a message is to have all the messages within that time frame and the ability to retrieve them. Think about how hard it is to set the context for an off-color email without having the complete historical conversations between a supervisor and a former employee.

Beyond actual HR investigations, corporations are now realizing that in today’s highly mobile labor environment, it is critical to have the ability to transition historical communications when a valued decision maker decided to depart for greener pastures. A responsible director will organize their ESI and participate in the transition process, but that can take weeks of effort and usually is limited to active projects. What about all of the ESI around completed contracts, deals and ongoing business relationships? “It’s in my PSTs.” So are all kinds of sensitive communications that you may not want to make available to everyone who inherits any portion of the departed roles.

So archiving and enterprise search are not just for storage and discovery management, especially when we now have low-threshold options available.

Click Here to Signup for the DCIG Newsletter!


DCIG Newsletter Signup

Thank you for your interest in DCIG research and analysis.

Please sign up for the free DCIG Newsletter to have new analysis delivered to your inbox each week.