Have you been meticulously archiving your company's electronic correspondences like a good executive should? Hopefully you have, because e-mail recovery requests, which can be litigated or audit-related, or even end-user requested, have been on the rise, a new report from Osterman Research indicates.
Sponsored by archiving software vendor Fortiva, the study reports that businesses with more than 1,000 employees are averaging 37 legal discovery requests a year, 37 business requests, 25 audit requests, and more than 100 requests per year from end users. This isn’t necessarily surprising considering the vast amounts of regulatory requirements pinned to e-mail archiving nowadays. In particular are the requirements heaped onto business by eDiscovery, bitterly referred to by some as the easiest road to losing a lawsuit.
What enterprises may find surprising, however, is that 75 percent of companies surveyed are still relying on backup tapes to fulfill eDiscovery requests. Yes, in the days of the personal terabyte harddrive, most companies are still archiving data on technology pioneered in the 1950’s.
Finding a small piece of data stored amongst terabytes of tape drive isn’t an easy task, and according to the report, “retrieving raw e-mail data for a single legal discovery request takes almost a month. Since this does not take into account the time required for a legal review of the data, IT teams may also be required to spend additional time supporting the legal discovery review.” Ouch.
“The number of requests to recover email has risen sharply over the past decade, but very few businesses have a true understanding of the impact this is having on their IT resources,” said Eric Goodwin, CEO, Fortiva.
"These statistics reinforce why so many companies are now turning to email archiving to simplify data retrieval. With an archive in place, a discovery request that used to take months can be completed in under a day – and the exposure to legal risks is significantly reduced."
Other notable findings from the survey include:
* One in four businesses surveyed has delayed a business or IT initiative in order to meet legal discovery requirements
* For each discovery request, 58% of the time spent by IT is spent gathering, restoring and searching through backups, while the remainder is spent finding and searching through PST files (25 percent) and searching through the email server (17%).
* On average, businesses keep 24 months’ worth of data on backup tapes.
We'd love to hear your opinion on how you've been holding up under eDiscovery regulatory requirements. Let us know what you think.