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New Regulations Driving the Need to Archive
"There's a lot of buzz in the industry about email archiving right now, and it's mainly being driven by regulations coming down saying you have to save and be able to retrieve certain kinds of data," reports Doug Chandler, program director for storage services at IDC, an industry analyst firm based in Framingham, Mass. "It's difficult because if you haven't been saving this stuff in an organized way, the ability to go in and pull up certain messages from certain days five years ago is not an easy thing to do. You have to have sophisticated software and trained people to manage this process."
And there are a lot of new regulations -- HIPAA, the FDA, SEC, Employee Privacy Regulations -- that have rules for various industries governing what information must be retained and for how long. The health care industry and financial services are the two industries generally considered to be the hardest hit, but the idea behind the regulations -- credibility and not a little CYA (cover your assets) -- is spreading from industry to industry.
These regulations, coupled with companies' fears of law suits, are pushing the need to archive. David Ferris, president of San Francisco-based Ferris Research, says there's a $200 million email archiving market this year, and he expects it to experience 50% to 100% growth over each of the next four years.
For now, Matelski at the City of Orlando is using the archiving feature in Lotus Notes 6.0 to make sure the city's employees are meeting the requirements of the state's Sunshine Laws. The emails are archived locally on the individual hard drives, and each employee is provided with a backup mechanism and the training to use it.
Matelski says the employees are able to access and successfully search through their own archives without the help of the IT department, saving Matelski and his workers an untold amount of time and distraction.
"That would be a great burden," he says. "If I have to assist any of those 2,500 people, there's no way I could appropriately staff to accommodate that many requests."