E-mail Management – a design decision

As discussed previously, I expect e-mail will be still around for some time. This means there is a need for each organisation to manage its e-mail. This is one of the topics that should be addressed by your Records Management strategy or your Enterprise Content Management strategy (if you have one).

However before you start implementing a systems, there are a number of questions to ask in order to determine whether you actually want to have a system:

  • Do you have large volumes and/or large number of employees?
    • If yes, then this may be a reason for an e-mail management system as it can reduce your storage costs
  • Are you located in a country where you may be required to produce e-mails as part of a litigation or due to legal requirements or for compliance initiatives?
    • If yes, then this may be a reason for an e-mail management system especially if you expect this to happen frequently. For example if you are part of an government agency in a country where there are regular political demands.
  • Can you justify the license costs and the implementation costs?
    • If no, then you should have to put procedures and policies in place to allow you to retrieve e-mails (manually) from you backups.
    • If no and the chances of a discovery request are low, you may be able to outsource this to a specialised firm when there is a request
  • Do you have a different system to retain e-mails for records management purpose?
    • If yes, you may be able to arrange for e-mails to be stored in such as system (provided the volume is low)

If you decided to implement an e-mail management system then you should look into the capabilities required. The figure below gives a high level view of the capabilities.

You should also look into the technical requirements and non-functional requirements such as intergrations, infrastructure requirements, capture volumes, capture speeds, and application support to realise these capabilities.

For some more information about e-mail management: