Employees should continue to rein in email while using the cloud

By Sonian
In Channel
September 17, 2012

Kayla Krause / Sonian

Email archiving can greatly reduce the strain on internal servers, but it also has a tendency to cause employees to become lax about their email practices, according to ComputerWeekly. For example, Debenhams, a home and clothing fashion company in the U.K., recently enacted an internal archiving service. The immediate benefit was a 50 percent reduction in storage size, which was significant because email size was previously growing at a 20 percent rate year to year.

But there were secondary problems that needed to be addressed. For one thing, while storage overall was being lowered, the sheer number of emails were growing. In other words, once employees understood that the storage problem was solved, they immediately stopped caring about how they used the service. The cloud is seen as limitless and inexhaustible, which, for all intents and purposes is true, but can lead to a massive amount of pointless and non-business related data being generated.

The pesky search bar

Another problem when there is a focus on file compression instead of outsourcing is that emails are typically no longer indexed or are simply organized by subject name. When going this route, files hidden deep within threads and reply chains are inaccessible. For the most part, this may not seem like a significant issue, but when a problem actually does crop up and a previous file is needed, the resources it takes to relocate the data can be exhaustive and will add up over time.

Cloud storage, on the other hand, can give employees the flexibility to not worry about proper organization and labelling. This isn't to say that they should ignore proper management systems completely, but lapses are more forgivable.

In the end, when a business decides to lessen the load on its internal servers and opts for an email archiving provider, it should still remind employees that general good practices can go a long way. For large enterprises with thousands of employees, those few daily email forwards of some chain letter or the 200 page album with HD photos of Rose's new baby can add up quickly.

The cloud is a tool that can save a company money and improve employee efficiency, but it shouldn't be viewed as a crutch.

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