What is the importance of archiving emails, and why do so many managers seem to discuss the topic endlessly? There’s actually a good reason for company owners and key personnel to be sort of obsessed by this once obscure subject. Managed service providers (MSPs) offer email archiving solutions for their clients that overcome all the standard problems and glitches that non-professionals run into when they try to install a DIY system for this highly technical chore.
The question for non-experts is how can we make sure that our emails are archived in the right way and why do we need to do this in the first place? That’s actually two questions, but they are so interrelated that they deserve joint treatment. Here are some of the key concepts that help explain why managers and company owners should get on the bandwagon and become ardent email archiving enthusiasts. In fact, each one represents a core advantage that you’ll get from learning what it means to store things in the right place at the right time.
Your Inbox Will Be Uncluttered
Placing old messages, to-do lists, messages to yourself, and random project notes into a managed archive will help you get back to having a clean, manageable inbox that is totally free of clutter. There’s nothing worse for a business professional to view their main mail screen and see thousands of messages, most unrelated to each other, on their primary inbox page. Instead opt for a comprehensive storage system that can categorize messages, delete redundant ones, prioritize those that need a response, and others that fall into a gray area. Newer apps are available to help with this chore. Once you get the hang of how they work, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them. Better, you’ll have a mail system that works, keeps you productive, and allows you to see at a glance what you need to read and respond to.
Solutions Can Be Fully Outsourced
Too many supervisory personnel fall into the trap of believing that they either have to figure out the archiving conundrum themselves or can’t afford to outsource the task. The first part of that assumption is usually the one that gets them into the most trouble. It’s understandable for people to want to do things for themselves in order to save a few dollars. That’s a common human urge and often pays off.
But if you’re trying to go the DIY route for proper, legal, ethical, industry standard mail retention, you are mistaken. Back before the computer revolution, it was easy enough to keep correspondence files in a separate area of the office and mostly forget about them. The accountants kept was the IRS and state authorities might request, and mail was relegated to a status somewhere on the same level as junk mail. Unless a document made its way to the legal or accounting departments, it was not regarded as being important.
After computers became ubiquitous in office environments, mail volume, for all sorts of unrelated reasons, vastly increased, as did legal and industry requirements for retaining everything, or so the rules seemed to indicate. Fortunately, today’s high-tech service industry has come to the rescue for small and medium sized firms that can’t afford in-house specialists. MSPs use sophisticated programs that not only store but also scan, protect, organize, and maintain multiple copies of every piece of communication that comes into a company’s sphere of influence.
You Won’t Lose Vital Information
One of the main downsides of having an unorganized inbox is that you can easily lose essential messages in the morass of clutter. Using a simple app to categorize your messages, both incoming and outgoing, means never losing a vital tax file, legal document, phone list, client contact sheet, or anything else. Have you ever known someone who had an overly cluttered home? They can never find what they’re looking for because all the mess gets in the way. There’s no rhyme or reason to the system, so important data gets stuffed in the same slot as junk.
The same thing’s true for your personal and business mail. If you understand the virtues of organization, and comprehend why you need to place archiving above all else, you’ll never have to worry when your boss or coworkers asks you about a message they sent you two months or two years ago. You’ll know exactly where it is.
For businesses, this is the key. Federal, local, state, and industry compliance rules, guidelines, and laws can wreak havoc with a message storage system that is not up to snuff. What happens if the federal government requests year old client data during a desk audit? If you can’t find it, you stand the chance of facing an assumption of negligence or outright guilt. State and local taxing authorities are the same way.
You must meet these legal guidelines by creating, or, better yet, hiring someone to create a system that is in full compliance for retaining every document that related to your business. The key thing to remember is that you don’t always know what might be required so it’s usually best to err on the side of caution. In any case, most business professionals get around this dilemma by outsourcing this task and letting a professional archiving service take care of the details. By doing so, and making the effort to locate a competent professional, you’ll be ahead of the curve when the time comes to produce particular messages and documents.