an Storage eBook
Preparing Your Organization
This content was adapted from Internet.com’s CIO Update, Server Watch and
Infostor websites. Contributors: David Cochran, Paul Rubens, Vikas Paul, Dave
Vellante and Michael McCreary.
2 Big Jump Predicted in Use of eDiscovery
3 CIOs on Trial: A Check List for eDiscovery and Litigation
5 Getting eDiscovery to Work for You
7 Managing Litigation Risk Starts with IT
9 Center of Gravity Shifts for Email Archiving
Preparing Your Organization
Big Jump Predicted in Use of eDiscovery
By CIO Update Staff
mong more than 650 IT professionals “Many organizations lack expertise in this emerging
surveyed in a CompTIA survey, Ediscovery area,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research,
Trends and Practices, 53 percent expect CompTIA. “That’s significant because the increasingly
the use of ediscovery within their connected and digital world in which companies operate
organizations to increase over the next few years. means the number of situations calling for ediscovery will
However, many firms routinely engage in data collection
and informal investigations related Given this rising need for more
to personnel matters, violations expertise, more opportunities
of company policies and security should exist for IT solution
breaches that never involve the providers with the right skills
legal system but may nonetheless and expertise.
fall under the umbrella of
ediscovery. The CompTIA “IT companies that offer
survey identified situations that services such as security, data
most often trigger the use of storage and archiving may find
ediscovery. They include: opportunities to expand their
business and their client base
• Investigating an employee by becoming an ediscovery
suspected of violating resource,” said Herbert.
company rules (cited
by 66 percent of survey Among the steps IT firms can
respondents) take to enhance their ediscovery
• Security breach stemming from an outside threat credentials: get employees trained in ediscovery; stay
(62 percent) up to date on the regulatory environment; and learn and
• Pending lawsuit (60 percent) follow industry best practices for conducting ediscovery.
• Intentional internal security breach (53 percent)
• Unintentional internal security breach (44 percent)
Half of organizations surveyed have already developed
an ediscovery strategy, either partial or comprehensive.
Another 26 percent indicate that their organization has
no official ediscovery strategy but have engaged in
ediscovery processes informally. Among organizations
that have yet to develop an ediscovery strategy, cost and
expertise are cited as the primary reasons.
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Preparing Your Organization
CIOs on Trial: A Check List for
eDiscovery and Litigation
By David Cochran
oday’s CIO encounters many challenges CIO must be able to speak to the company’s internal IT
handling security and regulatory mandates functions as well as the complexity of the company’s data
that extend far beyond the once-simple architecture. A CIO must also be prepared to defend the
duties of maintaining firewalls. CIOs are company’s work practices and policies in anticipation of,
today’s corporate first responders to spot insider theft not just in response to, litigation. Creating a litigation
or illegal activity, recover lost or deleted data and to response team that prepares these responses and
ameliorate poor document retention. policies ahead of time is critical.
Even before 2008’s financial The following are sample issues
meltdown, courts realized and questions that a CIO may
that the amount of electronic need to address on the stand
data in litigation was growing and, as part of the litigation
exponentially. As a result, response team, should be
new federal guidelines were prepared to tackle:
introduced in 2006 to address
this growing problem. At the • Present a simple overview as to
core of any litigation today is how data is managed within the
the concept of understanding corporate structure.
electronic data―where it is • Discuss data mapping and
located, how it is managed and chain of custody procedures
how it can be accessed. within the company. The ability
to easily explain this data
In the past, the litigation team mapping process, how it was
consisted of inside and outside done, who did it and how it was
counsel, the business unit audited, is a key element of any
manager and outside suppliers. The legal responsibility trial involving ediscovery.
for the management of a company’s data in most • Clearly communicate the company’s IT planning
businesses falls squarely on the shoulders of the CIO. approach.
Thus, if a company is ever entrenched in a legal battle, • Explain how data is handled on a day-to-day basis
the CIO needs to be part of the team and must be by the business unit and managed by the IT services
prepared to take the stand. Because of this person’s organization.
unique ability to discuss the internal systems that • Speak to compliance issues and how they are
generate the data in question, a CIO will almost inevitably managed from an IT perspective. Be prepared to
make any trial attorney’s short list. assess what impact this system may have on the
In preparing to testify, a CIO must create a plan of • Discuss how data is managed in overseas
action to address the data involved in the litigation. The
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Preparing Your Organization
subsidiaries. What safeguards are in place to program so required records are kept as long as
collect data from these locations? Can data required and are reliably disposed of when no
be transferred across borders pursuant to US longer necessary.
Department of Commerce Safe Harbor or other • Respond to the discovery obligations of litigation
criteria? filed against the company within the time deadlines
• How is the records management program of the courts.
handled and what is the CIO’s role in that • Manage the cost of the litigation to minimize
process? How might this process be impacted by effect on the company, both financially and in terms
a litigation hold? of the disruption of ongoing operations.
• What role does the CIO play when staff needs to • Comply fully with the requirements of the courts.
be interviewed by the legal team for a deposition • Ensure the company’s lawyers, whether in-
or interrogatory? house or outside counsel, are supplied with
• How is the collection of data managed the information they need and their efforts are
internally? Who is collecting the data? Is it self- effectively supported.
collection or is it managed by an outside partner?
• What type of audit trail or chain of custody is in A good reference tool for the CIO is the Electronic
place as part of the day-to-day business activities? Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), which can be found
• What type of reporting is available regarding at www.edrm.net. EDRM is a collaborative effort that
the data? involves corporations, law firms and suppliers working
together to better delineate the best practices of
Here are a few basic guidelines that the CIO must managing litigation today. As part of the EDRM model,
adhere to as part of the litigation team: there are specific areas where a CIO can reference these
best practices to help prepare and respond to litigation.
• Ensure the company complies with regulations The model covers each aspect of the litigation process
pertaining to its business operations. and defines the necessary components to be successful.
• Maintain compliance with regulations pertaining
to the records the company must keep. CIO’s know that building a firewall after a system is
• Be certain the company’s records are hacked is too little, too late. Now, more than ever,
maintained and can be located by a chosen set of they must extend that lesson to data management.
criteria (examples may be by department, facility, Implementing a comprehensive plan in anticipation of
subject, product, etc.) litigation is the company’s best defense against anything,
• Ensure there is an appropriate retention technology or otherwise, that threatens the company.
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Preparing Your Organization
Getting eDiscovery to Work for You
By Paul Rubens
ocating, securing and producing all organizations they can pay for themselves in as little
the electronically stored information as three months or after a single big law case. That’s
required in the discovery phase of civil because the cost of software can be offset against fees
litigation can be very time consuming that would otherwise be paid to outside service providers
and extremely expensive. However, failure to produce to process data for discovery and against the reduction in
the required information in a timely fashion can lead to legal fees charged by outside attorneys reviewing large
fines running into millions of dollars, thanks to revisions amounts of written electronic material. Little wonder the
to the Federal Rules of Civil market for ediscovery software
Procedure that came into effect is expected to grow more than
in December 2006. 20 percent per year for the next
three years, according to Gartner
Many companies still deal estimates.
with ediscovery obligations
by outsourcing the process to Of course, not every company
external specialists, who may needs ediscovery software.
charge between $250 and $1,400 Those that do tend to have one
per gigabyte to sift through of two key characteristics: They
corporate data, collect what is have significant intellectual
relevant and get it in to a form property assets that must be
that can be submitted to lawyers protected (as is the case for
for review. In the past five companies involved in sectors
years, an increasing number of like oil and gas, banking,
companies have begun treating pharmaceuticals and high
ediscovery as a routine business technology) or they are involved
process that can be performed in-house. Many of these in lawsuit-driven industries, such as insurance.
companies use ediscovery software to help carry out this
business process more efficiently. “These companies can save a ton of money and time
by using ediscovery systems,” said Debra Logan, a vice
Ediscovery software is designed to enable the efficient president at Gartner. “If you are facing more than 10
undertaking of various stages of the ediscovery process lawsuits or regulatory matters in a year, then it is worth
defined in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model getting organized using this type of software and getting
(EDRF), which establishes guidelines for ediscovery. a firm idea of what your IT situation looks like, what
These stages include the identification, preservation, information you have on tape, and so on,” she added.
collection, processing, review and analysis of corporate “You need to ask ‘What are our systems, who can access
information. Research house Gartner said ediscovery them, and what information do we have on them?’ That’s
solutions may cost more than $500,000, but in some the sort of level of knowledge you need to have.”
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Preparing Your Organization
Since ediscovery involves identifying and preserving you get rid of PSTs and dedupe, you can cut the volume
relevant information stored in corporate IT systems and of email that you store to 25 percent of what you had.
handing it over to attorneys for processing, it makes There are big storage gains to be made.”
sense that the less unnecessary information stored,
the more efficient this process will be. Minimizing Given this, it is not surprising that many of the leading
the amount of stored corporation information should ediscovery vendors like Symantec, EMC, CA and IBM
therefore be a priority. have storage or archiving expertise. Logan said she
believes many more such companies are likely to enter
“The biggest sin is keeping unnecessary data,” Logan the market, “If you are a big storage vendor then you
said. Typically only about 1 percent to 5 percent of a are inevitably going to have offerings in this space,”
company’s stored data is needed long term, and about she said. The other types of market participants include
8 percent is needed for up to five years, she said. “The search-based software vendors and those that primarily
rest is usually stored because it seems like it is free to do concentrate on processing, reviewing and analyzing
so, but if it had to be stored in filing cabinets, it would documents. Leading vendors in this space include
have been thrown out long ago.” Autonomy, Clearwell Systems, FTI Technology, Guidance
Software and ZyLAB.
However, companies must set sensible policies
governing how data should be retained or discarded. The ediscovery software market has already undergone
This way, should information that turns out to be a certain amount of consolidation, and this trend will
relevant to a case be deleted, they can show that it likely continue over the coming months and years. Some
was done according to the policy and not to affect the analysts expect large platform vendors like HP and Oracle
outcome of the case, she added. to enter the space through acquisition. Other vendors
may also look to round out their offerings. But even if the
Looking at the range of products (which include market is not yet fully matured, the products currently
appliances and software as a service as well as on sale can offer significant savings to companies that
enterprise hosted software) that assist with ediscovery encounter (or launch) frequent legal challenges. The cost
can be bewildering. However, for companies looking for of ediscovery software may be high, but payback periods
the biggest benefit for their software buck, Logan has measured in months are hard to argue with.
no doubt about where to start: “Beyond a shadow of a
doubt, email archiving is the quickest win,” she said. “If
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Preparing Your Organization
Managing Litigation Risk Starts with IT
By Vikas Paul
hen you don’t know where you are going, on the step-by-step instructions for carrying out each of
any road will get you there, right? What the necessary tasks.
if you don’t know where you are? How
would you know how far you have to For the most part, there are three major risks connected
travel to get to your destination? to ESI and electronic discovery that companies must be
prepared to address:
With regards to electronic discovery, decision-making is
slowly shifting out of the control • Spoliation or deletion of
of law firms and into hands of the potentially relevant ESI
corporate legal departments. • Inability or failure to comply
And within the corporations, with all of the requirements of a
there is more collaboration being discovery order
initiated between the legal, IT/IS • Non-compliance with a
and records management groups governmental investigation, such
as they try and tackle the ever- as those related to Sarbanes-
growing problem of managing Oxley or HIPAA.
There are also many questions
There is also a shift in corporate that must be answered when it
litigants saying, “We don’t need comes to producing ESI.
to worry about assessing our
readiness because we don’t deal • Which custodians are relevant
with ediscovery that often” to to the matter
“We haven’t had that major case • What ESI is potentially relevant
yet, but we can see it coming up to the matter
in the horizon and we need to plan for it now.” • What steps have been taken to preserve ESI
• What tools will be used to collect the ESI
With this growing understanding comes growing • What keywords or timeframes can we apply to
anxiety. Often companies simply don’t know how to limit the scope of discovery?
start the process.
Before attempting to answer any of these questions,
What companies are really seeking are well-documented it’s important to first determine what are the current
discovery response plans detailing all the steps practices around electronic discovery, where gaps
that should be followed when they are compelled continued
may exist and what are the risks associated with those
to produce electronically stored information (ESI). process gaps. In order to do this, a baseline needs to be
What, then, both IT and the general counsel need is a established.
playbook to help guide their internal and external teams
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Preparing Your Organization
This baseline can help both the legal and IT teams including collection, preservation, records management,
understand what areas can remain unchanged and processing, review and production.
where immediate and long-term improvements need to
be made. The first step to establishing a “readiness” baseline is to
identify the organization’s:
The best starting point to creating a baseline is
to understand the current people, process and • Litigation profile
technologies used for litigation and discovery response. • Complexity of ediscovery and IT infrastructure
For example, IT folks in a major chemical company felt • Processes already in place for responding to
they already had excellent control of their electronic electronic discovery requests
information, but when they completed an assessment of • Documentation of these process
their collection processes it was determined that their • Anticipated volume of litigation or investigation
current processes were not documented. that may involve discovery
In addition, there were three major problems identified The best way to accurately gain this information is
in their current collection protocols that were not in through a formal assessment process. Having a baseline
compliance with legal standards that could cost them from which to measure and improve provides the starting
dearly if every questioned in court. point and establishes the foundation for effectively
lowering electronic discovery costs, risks and time.
All companies have an idea of where they want to be,
but how to get there can only be answered once a
baseline assessment as been conducted that covers
all of the major electronic discovery processes,
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Preparing Your Organization
Center of Gravity Shifts for Email Archiving
By Dave Vellante and Michael McCreary
or several years, the growth of represent a new source of revenue, leading to a large
unstructured content has been number of lawsuits in which old emails become the key
substantially more rapid than structured piece of evidence used to confirm charges of corporate
information. Because they contain highly wrongdoing. What’s more, changes to the Federal Rules
structured data and metadata, applications such as ERP, of Civil Procedure (FRCP) adopted late in 2006 now
financials, CRM, supply chain, etc., can be credibly used require civil litigants to consider electronic evidence as
to indisputably re-create a sequence of events such as part of the discovery process.
who placed the order, for what,
for how much, when and on what Not only is email a prime
terms. In contrast, unstructured candidate to look for a “smoking
information such as emails, gun,” but the procedures by
documents, spreadsheets, which email is managed are
voicemail and pictures are also coming under attack and
masses of stored information intensified scrutiny. Sometimes,
where it’s much more difficult it is easier to attack a firm’s
to determine what’s relevant business policies and procedures
and replicate a decision flow in than it is to argue the pure merits
a manner that is provable with a of a case. Email management has
reasonable degree of certainty. become fertile ground for these
This represents a huge liability types of attacks. Organizations
for organizations as information that are unable to demonstrate
uncertainty grows daily and clear, well-defined, and followed
exponentially (see figure). policies, procedures and tools
for email management are open
to accusations of systematic
destruction or spoliation of email-based evidence.
Penalties for these types of violations can be severe,
ranging from sanctions all the way to an adverse inference
whereby the court essentially states that the evidence not
produced by an organization should be assumed adverse
to their case, effectively shifting the burden of proof.
Policies and procedures for retention, backup, departing
staff, disaster recovery, security and access control are all
fair game and may come under scrutiny.
The legal community has discovered that unstructured As a result, email archiving capabilities should not only
information in general, and email archives in particular, focus narrowly on IT interests (e.g., holding down the cost
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Preparing Your Organization
of storing emails), but also begin to align with business • Incremental expenditures on core email archiving
imperatives, especially from the legal function within activities will initially be seen as non-value producing
organizations. Legal departments view email archives (e.g., like buying insurance) and pressures to keep
as critical to their day-to-day operations, and email has storage costs down will escalate even further.
become a mission-critical application. As such, while • As business lines begin to demand that email
storage cost containment remains important, and in archiving activities produce tangible value, this
some respects is under even greater pressure than ever, will force integration with other key information
successful email archive initiatives emphasize not just management systems of the organization, including
reducing the cost of writing email to an archive, but also document management and records retention.
querying email that is necessary to support an efficient
and effective discovery process. The business dynamics Over the next few years, we expect to see significant
and corollary IT/storage administration implications of new case law test the limits and requirements of email
this imperative are evolving. archiving, which will continue to drive new investment in
these technologies. We will also start seeing businesses
The two main drivers behind this trend are the need to further experiment with the capabilities created by email
better support the legal activities of the corporation archiving in other business domains in an attempt to
(i.e., reduce exposure to expensive lawsuits) and the affect document and information lifecycle management
necessity to maintain compliance with increasingly (ILM) strategies beyond email.
information-oriented regulations. It is important to note
that the shifting center of gravity for email archiving IT’s role should be to facilitate the transition to a legal
from the IT server room to the courtroom will evolve still business-driven email archiving approach, recognizing
further. The technologies, functionality and business that approach will evolve with increased focus on access
capabilities associated with being able to query, extract to unstructured data. However, IT organizations must also
and rapidly decipher large amounts of unstructured data help the business fully factor, in a more comprehensive
will eventually find themselves at the center of boardroom way, how messaging technology affects business risk
discussions as organizations attempt to proactively and opportunity by addressing new email technologies
verify that business practices and employee behaviors (e.g., hosted email) as well as other messaging
are consistent with the cultural and policy edicts of the technologies (e.g., instant messaging and voicemail) that
organization. Furthermore, over time, line-of-business employees use to perform both business and personal
executives will begin to demand a payback on email communications today.
archiving investments, beyond risk reduction, deriving
more value from information assets and directly improve IT organizations must also recognize that as the
the performance of their businesses. economics and value proposition of email archiving
and other messaging and content technologies shift,
These trends have three significant consequences for their centers of expertise will also shift to initially serve
storage administrators: corporate counsel in support of electronic discovery
activities and over time to radically re-architect
• Storage administrators and email managers the unstructured information infrastructure of the
will be required to serve many masters, including organization.
business lines, legal departments, compliance
and an emerging records management function, IT Serves Many Masters
once viewed as a backwater of corporations and
more recently emerging as a fundamental driver of Email managers are under pressure to ensure that the
business requirements. cost, performance, responsiveness and validity of email
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Preparing Your Organization
archives are maintained. Users and senior managers Impact on Users
notice when things go wrong or performance is not
adequate. At the same time, the legal and compliance Email is the lifeblood of most enterprises. Its value to the
functions are responsible for ensuring organizations business is speed, flexibility and lack of formal structure.
are adequately protected from outside (or internal) Any initiative that seeks to change this must include an
exposures. To IT, email archiving systems should be evaluation of the risk/reward equation.
implemented in ways that have minimum impact on
operations-but this is not always easy. For example, the As such, a primary requirement of email archiving
simplest way to populate an email archive system is to initiatives is to make activities as non-disruptive as
use the daily backup as a source of record. However, possible for users. Unfortunately, that’s not always
using the email backup copy will not ensure all the emails feasible. While today’s best-of-breed email archiving
are captured. Emails immediately deleted by users, for systems preserve as much of the user footprint as
example, will not be accessible because they’ll never be possible (e.g., folder structures) user disruption is
backed up. inevitable.
The alternative method of using a journaling feed Newly introduced policies and consequent migration
ensures every email is captured. However, journaling activities will invariably introduce change. For example, in
introduces overhead and complexity that may impact the an effort to keep costs down and email manageable, an
production email system and may also increase storage organization might mandate that after 60 days, emails be
costs substantially. We have heard storage and/or email migrated to more cost-effective storage tiers. Users will
managers argue: “We don’t need to install journaling; at that time have access to a “stub” while the email itself
it’s an unnecessary expense because we already back up resides in the archive. Users will find the performance of
and archive the vast majority of emails that come in to the accessing this migrated file to be much lower than what
organization.” This line of thinking misses the business they’ve been conditioned to expect.
requirement by a mile. The truth is that counsel must be
able to say they have included all emails in a discovery The key to managing this disruption is communicating
request. If users can “shred” emails by deleting them the benefits to users. The two main benefits are virtually
immediately, they will, and often do so routinely. If that unlimited mailbox sizes, and simplification of email
email is discovered in, say, another organization, counsel management (e.g., elimination of managing .pst files).
has lost all credibility, and the organization will lose the
trust of any court. This exposure can far outweigh the On balance, users will find they are much more
incremental costs and overhead of installing journaling. productive with the new system in place; however, it will
take time for them to realize these benefits, and IT can
It is a cost of business to ensure all emails are captured, expect some friction in the transition process.
and that the legal department has a comprehensive
understanding of the email content in question. It must Moreover, the availability of free, Web-based, consumer
be assumed that opposing legal counsel will mercilessly email services forces firms to complement efforts to
exploit any weakness in your email systems. IT must implement the right mix of email archiving technology
ensure the business clearly specifies the requirements with the right mix of end-user education. Use of internal
for email archiving, including the needs for provenance, email systems can be monitored to verify that guidelines
permanence, comprehensiveness and deletion policies; are being followed. But users can increasingly circumvent
otherwise, any supposed legal umbrella will be illusionary. an organization’s email mandates by using third-party
email services such as Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail to
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conduct company business. It’s clear that the courts SATA arrays should be aggressively investigated. Also,
expect firms to be able to access and provide copies N-tier storage strategies make sense with email archiving
of any digital communication conducted in support as newer emails will reside on near Tier-1 storage (let’s
of business. It’s not clear if the courts will relax this call it T1-B) and will be migrated to T2 and T3 tiers as
expectation simply because a business document was archived over time to save additional costs. This will
created and distributed over a third-party mail system. require clear policies, data- classification efforts, and
technologies to automate the migration of files.
As a result, email governance policies must include users’
activities with third-party email systems, with special It is important to note that data classification must be
efforts made to determine the risk to the firm posed by automated at the point of creation or use; otherwise,
third-party email provider archiving practices. Bad user classification efforts will become impossible to maintain.
behavior will trump any technology implementation, This is challenging because tools and metadata are often
necessitating clear policies regarding third-party services. lacking, especially for unstructured content, although
The bottom line is that email archiving will require emails contain plenty of metadata that serve as a good
introducing changes to the way users work. With older starting point for auto-classification efforts. Over time,
emails, response times will be slower and certain activities more business-relevant metadata can be introduced,
more restrictive. But users will ultimately be freed from including user-driven classification schema.
the hassles of running out of mailbox space and dealing
with .pst files. Also noteworthy is that installing journaling requires
additional overhead on the processor and the network
Technology Integration Actions and often requires changes to the core email system
to ensure application performance and behavior is
Case studies of large and mid-sized organizations show predictable. While journaling is necessary to ensure all
that as much as 50 percent of file-based storage (e.g., emails are captured, it will require more storage, servers
NAS) is allocated to storing .pst files, often a huge and I/O performance. On the flip side, restoration of
amount of storage. This is not surprising, given the email backups is simplified because the first line of
overlap in email content (i.e., the same attachment can go restoration is the email archive (versus email backup
to 10 different users). media that must be accessed in snapshots of time).
The good news for storage administrators is that a Interestingly, we have begun to see some courts and
comprehensive email archive system can get rid of attorneys start to question the authenticity of electronic
.psts over time, freeing up storage space. Also, storage evidence. As any IT professional knows, electronic files
administrators receive this benefit on the coattails of are not the same as paper, and proving authenticity is
a wider corporate email archiving initiative. Storage difficult to impossible in many cases. As a consequence,
managers should move legacy .pst files to the slowest, several additional technology integration points are worth
least-expensive devices and eventually phase out .psts noting:
through attrition, depending on legal retention policies.
New .pst files should be aggressively deleted as the new • In the near term, we expect to see more hardware-
archive will house the emails of record. and software-based WORM technologies and some
newer PKI/time-based approaches
The challenge is that email archiving initiatives will create • Security in many ways is more difficult because
truckloads of more storage that needs to be managed, more people have access to the repository. Audit
especially as journaling is introduced. Technologies such trails and other security practices are fundamental
as thin provisioning, data deduplication and low-cost • Getting rid of emails is a key challenge, Shredding
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policies and technologies to ensure files are deleted Much, if not most, of today’s activity around email
and storage devices are scrubbed is critical to archiving is being driven by the need to reduce corporate
keeping costs down and archives manageable. exposure. Organizations realize, however, that the
broader use and integration of unstructured information
Email archiving shows up as the tip of the iceberg when systems brings potentially enormous value in terms of
it comes to managing, securing and exploiting the improved opportunity mining, cross-selling, and massive
unstructured data within an organization. While some productivity enhancements. These initiatives will require
vendors are trying to integrate the pieces into a single storage administrators to consider accommodating the
solution, no vendor has articulated a complete and policy edicts of many other parts of the organization
scalable technology road map to achieve this. Today’s within the process framework of the email archiving
email archiving products can largely be viewed as point infrastructure. This means balancing the needs of
solutions that either focus on infrastructure challenges, maturing email archiving processes with other document
or attempt to solve end-user problems for archiving and ILM activities, and integrating what may be “siloed”
or ediscovery. Many solutions fail to provide adequate security, compliance, retention and other practices.
functions for users, or provide user functions without Developing cross-organizational standards today will
adequate performance, scalability or integration with dramatically accelerate integration efforts down the road.
other unstructured data in the organization. The market
will likely bifurcate, and users should expect products that We are just beginning to understand this vision in terms
concentrate either on data infrastructure or best-of-breed of business requirements, key metrics, technologies and
functionality. challenges. Nonetheless, mid- and long-term plans must
begin to incorporate the notion that information value
As such, in designing strategies for unstructured data in can be viewed and measured using a balance-sheet
general, and email archives in particular, IT organizations metaphor, where information assets and liabilities, while
should avoid dependence on single- vendor products evolving, can be observed as snapshots in time. The
that try to integrate the infrastructure and end-user composition of that information balance sheet can be
functions within the same solution. measured, albeit somewhat subjectively, and affected
by specific strategies and actions that, like a balance
The likelihood of success in the long run is limited. Short- sheet, can become an indicator of health, viability and
term tactical adoption of these products is necessary, opportunity.
but the business case should assume a cost of migration
to other products within five years as technology
advancements are rapid.
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