Why Moving to Cloud Email is Good?

Sunil Uttam, Co-Founder,  Mithi Software TechnologiesCustomers, moving to a cloud email platform such as Sky Connect,Office365,Google’s G Suite etc.are free from the stress around on premise infrastructure issues, software upgrades, planning and provisioning for disaster, security, data backup, manpower and more.

While cloud mail solutions cover a lot of ground, customers of cloud email services, we’ve spoken to, have expressed concerns about the inbuilt archiving system, regarding the features not being easy with limited e discovery capabilities, difficulties in extracting large volumes of data and not enough protection from loss of email data; both malicious and accidental.

When choosing an archiving solution, we advice that you consider the following:

1. Is your email data immutable by default?

An immutable archive store, secured by strong access rights, ensures that data cannot be deleted, until the retention period ends.

An efficient email archiving solution, will automatically capture and store an independent and SEPARATE copy of all the email data in a facility outside of the operational cloud email infrastructure.

Often, inbuilt archive systems of cloud email solutions come with a 'legal hold' option which is an 'in place archive', providing just another view of the existing mailbox. They are not SEPARATE copies of the email.

2.Is your email data easily retrievable?

The most suitable archive platform for such a scenario,will preserve all your data in a separate, immutable store, allowing you to retrieve all the data to rebuild your primary mailbox.

3. Can you run deep searches and analysis across mailboxes without hampering the performance of your primary platform?

There is an explosion in the storage required by enterprises towards meeting stricter regulations and to provide historical data in case of disputes & litigation (typical email retention period is 7+ years).

An email archiving solution creating separate copies of mail exchanges can help reduce the size on the primary or active mail boxes.Search, analysis and data movement can be more freely executed on the COPY of the mail box, without impacting performance of the active mailbox.

If the same level of recoverability has to be achieved with the in place archive feature, then mailboxes will have to be put on legal hold from the start. This would mean that a user would not be able to delete any mail, leading to bloated primary mailboxes.
4. How difficult is it to serve requests for Historical data? Does your system offer a DIY interface?

Gartner estimates that by 2019, 75 percent of organizations will treat archive data, including email, as an active data source.

Storing archived email data in a separate platform and location, supports not just compliance and regulatory requirements, but also frees from getting locked-in to a particular mail platform

A quick analysis of our helpdesk for our cloud email service,shows that a good number of requests relate to locating and/or recovering historical mail(a few mails or the entire mailbox).

This can severely load the enterprise IT team if, the archive system is not equipping users with a self service feature to search through their own archive store and recover their own mail.

5.Do you have an option to maintain the historical data of employees who are no longer with you?

In most cloud email platforms,if an employee leaves your organization,you have two options to maintain their information.

a. Download all their mail, store it in a local archive, and then delete the user.

b. Deactivate the user, deploy a legal hold and maintain the information on the primary email platform.

The problems with (a) are the same as storing data on premise

The problems with(b)are the cost of maintaining an inactive account(often similar to the cost of a live mailbox).

6. Is your email archive data getting splintered?

Consider this: When companies grow by acquisition and mergers, it may find the group companies using different email systems.

A separate archiving solution ensures all the email data from disparate email platforms is archived to one central archive store, bringing greater control and preparing the grounds for future mailing system consolidation.

7. Are you locked into your email vendor?

A cloud email solution offers an inline archive, where it stores primary and archived mailboxes in the same single environment, making it more difficult to switch to another email environment or use tools offered by others – essentially leading to a vendor lock-in.

Getting data IN is quite easy and builds up over time, but when you need to change your mail platform,you need to extract all the information in a short span of time, which makes it very challenging.

Storing archived email data in a separate platform and location, supports not just compliance and regulatory requirements, but also frees you from getting locked-in to a particular mail platform.

Migrating your email to the cloud is a good move and covers a lot of ground. However, we feel that businesses will need to purchase a third party cloud email archiving solution to offset the perceived shortfalls outlined above and create a stronger solution.

To recap, ensure that the email archiving solution you choose

a. Stores the email data in a SEPARATE IMMUTABLE store

b. Gives CONTROL to the owner of the data with easy data extraction on demand

c. Provides AUTOMATIC and seamless archiving of mails with no need for manual intervention

d. Allows end users to access a safe, secure, SELF SERVICE PORTAL (DIY) to search and recover their own mail