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10 Questions to Help Businesses Assess Their Emails

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New email challenges continue to emerge and old problems continue to exist.

Email is an established business mainstay, but new challenges continue to emerge and old problems continue to exist. If you haven’t already done so, here are 10 questions to ask yourself about your office email.

1. Is email a mission critical system? Email is one of the most traditional forms of communication for businesses. But some enterprises don’t even include email in their business continuity plan.

2. How solid is our backup and recovery plan for email? Have you tested your backup or recovery plan for email? Don’t neglect your email recovery because it is a critical lifeline for communication.

3. How long should email be retained? Keeping an internal history of emails is important because it helps with clarification issues. “Based on the requirements an organization is subject to, IT support desk and end business users should define an appropriate email retention policy.

4. When do we take out the email trash? Email is a major source of Big Data garbage accumulation. As an example, when a user sends an email with a large file attachment to a distribution list of 20 other recipients throughout the enterprise, that attachment gets copied multiple times on disk, eating up storage in the process. Techniques like reduplication exist to weed out unnecessary duplicate data. This is one way that your IT support desk can ensure more compact repositories of email history.”

5. Do we need a dedicated server for email? In order to maximize server capacity, many SMBs combine their email with other systems on the same server. However, this may complicate disaster recovery if the server fails, so it’s important to consider hosting email in a dedicated server to ensure effective communication.

6. Should we outsource email to the cloud? Managed IT services need to consider the difference between in-house email and third-party cloud hosting services.

7. What’s the best way to integrate email with other systems? With the latest advancements in technology, companies have integrated their email systems with instant messaging and VoIP (voice over IP). The result is instant access, anywhere, anytime.

8. How clear is our email policy? Company policies are often overlooked, so it should be a necessity for the policies to get reviewed annually and make sure each employee understands the guidelines.

9. Do employees understand that the company “owns” their email? Work email should not be used for personal use. Since IT, HR, and business managers are the ultimate enforcers when there is a breach of email policy, these areas should also be taking the lead to ensure that everyone in the company has a thorough, upfront understanding of corporate email position on privacy, intellectual property, etc.

10. Do we have a set of best practices for email automation? ‘Routinely, employees set email for automated messages: “I am out of the office and will return on Tuesday to answer my email.”’ While automated messages vary, make sure employees know the standard policy so everyone is consistent.

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