A lot of RIAs look for an email archiving solution to meet their compliance requirements. But the right solution will also help you deliver better service to your clients and make life easier for staff.
Compliance is just one of the reasons your RIA should have email archiving. Data storage and access, recovery, security, and efficiency are some of the other benefits as well if you set things up the right way.
What is email archiving?
It’s hard to remember what business was like before the dawn of email. Text messaging, VoIP, and IM apps are also common in most workplaces. But for work correspondence that requires a formal exchange of messages, email takes the lead. With over 281 billion emails sent every day globally, email is how most RIAs correspond with clients and colleagues. Your RIA probably has a staggering number of messages to keep track of and can’t delete because of compliance and the possibility of needing to reference them again in the future. This is where email archiving comes into play.
Email archiving works by placing all communications in a secure repository residing outside your email environment. All incoming and outgoing mail and attachments are indexed and kept in a read-only form in their original state. Your email can be easily accessed any time through an email archiving database and software.
Is email archiving the same as email backup?
Email archiving takes your actual email and moves it to a new location for permanent retention. This is not the same as a backup which generates a copy of the data to be used in the event it must be restored. Archiving is more like when you move out old paper files you haven’t used in a while to boxes for storage in the basement. They’re in their original format and can be retrieved as-is from their new location. Backup would be like copying or scanning all those old files and saving them at another location in case of fire or water damage to the originals.
Another difference between archiving and a backup is that you typically archive emails or data that you aren’t actively using. Backups on the other hand include everything as the goal is to restore it should something be compromised.
Why should RIAs use email archiving?
As an RIA, communicating frequently with clients via email is a necessity. Even more necessary is the need to secure your messages and anticipate your security risks while simultaneously keeping a record of all your correspondence with your clients.
To meet your compliance requirements, RIAs must archive their emails and attachments for several years. Keeping the most recent emails on site using a cloud-based system makes them readily accessible from the office.
An email archiving solution is the best way to store emails in a tamper-proof, authentic, and accessible way for years. It also makes it easier to provide emails as evidence in the event of disputes.
Data storage and retrieval
If you are saving your emails in your email app (like Outlook), it puts extra load on the email server and can reduce its performance considerably. Depending on how your RIA manages your email, you may have a limited amount of space in your inbox and be tempted to delete old emails that you assume you won’t need again. With an email archiving solution, you can move and store your data on a cloud or offsite server and retrieve it any time. Some solutions also reduce archive disc space by using advanced compression or deduplication. If set up properly, retrieving old emails should be a relatively easy task.
Data security and recovery
It is not unusual to assume that once your emails are old and out of your sight from the inbox, they are safely forgotten. This is not exactly true since hackers are always on the lookout for ways to access your mailboxes. Once your emails are archived with the right archiving program, all your email data is protected from security threats with regular data backup and disaster recovery feature.
Even in the absence of a disaster or a cyber-attack, your data can still get lost if an employee deletes it on purpose or unintentionally. Or in certain cases, the entire mailbox is deleted when an employee leaves a company. Email archiving prevents the permanent loss of data and all previous emails along with their attachments can be restored.
Setting up automatic email archiving for everyone at your RIA not only helps you manage some of the issues with inbox quotas but also eliminates the need for employees to move emails to Personal Storage Table (.pst) files and delete them from their inbox. Email archiving should be a “set it and forget it” feature for your staff. Giving employees direct access to the archive also means they don’t have to call the IT department to help them find a specific email.
What features should an email archiving solution have?
What exactly makes up an effective archiving solution that caters to the unique needs of an RIA? When choosing a solution, look for the following features.
Easy integration with existing systems and processes
Whichever system you use, it must be one that seamlessly integrates with your current email solution, whether on-premises or platforms like G Suite or Office 365. This will save you the trouble of upgrading or changing anything.
A cloud-based solution will eliminate the need for on-site infrastructure and can easily grow with you as needed. Reputable cloud solutions are secure and backed up to limit your risk.
Tag and search capability
You also want to choose a solution that has all the important features such as tagging, filtering, and advanced search so that you can quickly retrieve the information you are looking for.
About Microsoft’s email archiving solution
With so many benefits of email archiving, RIAs are now slowly shifting towards adopting more effective email archiving solutions. Many are turning to Microsoft Office 365 which is usually available through their current Microsoft subscription but just needs to be configured and set up properly.
Why use Office 365 email archiving solution at your RIA?
In addition to all the features that a good email archiving solution must have, Microsoft is preferred by many because of the following features:
- Easy access: It is easily accessible by users who use Microsoft Outlook or web Outlook and store their email messages in archive mailboxes.
- Unlimited archive: This is an option which attracts many companies to adopt the solution as it has unlimited archive storage and the option of auto-expanding the archive.
- Quick data recovery: Deleted emails are retrievable almost instantly from the Recoverable Items folder with the help of its “Recover Deleted Items” tool.
- Data management with eDiscovery: Data is more manageable with the help of eDiscovery, which makes it very easy to find, produce, and manage data across the organization with an easy-to-use web interface.
If your RIA is looking for an email archiving solution, always do your research. Select the one that delivers a user-friendly interface with all the desirable features while keeping you in control and maintaining your standard of reliability and security. If you need help finding the right solution or configuring it for your RIA, get in touch. We’re happy to help.