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  Apr 12, New Ferris Report: The Current State of Email Retention Policies
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New Ferris Report: The Current State of Email Retention Policies

Organizations are confused about how long to keep emails. Some delete almost everything after 60 days, in case they are caught as a miscreant during e-discovery. Others keeps everything indefinitely, and many take a middle course. Few are satisfied that their approach is the right one.

A new report from Ferris Research, “The Current State of Email Retention Policies,” discusses today’s situation. It incorporates data from a survey of 22 organizations representing more than 443,000 mailboxes running Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, and other email platforms. It also presents Ferris Research’s interpretation of the findings.

We discuss the key drivers behind the need to establish email retention policies, the policies that respondents have implemented, and the challenges they face in defining and enforcing these policies. Key findings include:

  • Litigation holds and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) are the largest drivers for retention policies. These are followed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  • Some 14% of the respondents (three of the 22 organizations surveyed) still rely solely on end-user archives such as personal storage tables (PSTs) or GroupWise archives for retention.
  • Organizations treat unified messaging (UM) voicemail differently from email. The lack of discoverability is driving some organizations to avoid archiving voicemails.
  • Heavily regulated or litigious businesses have the most complex retention policies and, thus, more costly storage and technology investments.
  • Less-regulated markets typically adopt simple retention policies, such as 60-, 90-, or 120-day retention schedules managed through quotas and simple “spring cleaning” mailbox management.
  • A dwindling but still significant number of respondents continue to use backups for retention.

The report can be downloaded here. There is no charge to do so. ... David Ferris


About Ferris Research

Messaging. Collaboration. Compliance. Ferris Research analysts bring more experience in these areas than any other firm. Period.

Major areas of interest are email, spam and malware control, archiving, e-discovery, information leak prevention, unified communications, instant messaging, SharePoint, and mobile communications. We help:

  • IT staff evaluate, implement, and maintain these technologies
  • Vendors understand the marketplace and its technologies; explain their products or services to the marketplace; and find strategic partners, raise funds, or sell their company
  • Investors find and evaluate investment opportunities

We've been in business since 1990-longer than any other analyst firm in our field:

  • Clients include many of the world's largest organizations as well as computer vendors from major corporations to small startups.
  • We have published more than 200 formal reports and 1,100 short bulletins.
  • Our news service has approximately 10,000 readers and covers more than 2,000 highly specialized announcements annually.
  • Our research team shares many decades of experience in our core competencies.

In short, our technology and industry depth helps you understand today's products, where they've come from, where they're going, and their value.

Have news you want to share with us or product or interest area that you would like us to cover? Send press releases to releases@ferris.com.

Copyright © Ferris Research 2010.


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