If you want to protect yourself against a major disaster like your office burning to the ground then back up is the way to go, provided you had the forethought not to backup on site! It’s also a great protection against human mistakes that result in lost or corrupted data. In a nutshell, backups involve making regular copies of your company’s emails and storing them in a secure location so you can recover your data should disaster strike.
But there are limitations to the backup option. It only stores copies of your emails for a limited time and these copies are mostly overridden, so if you want to hunt down an email from years ago, there’s a good chance it’s gone. A backup creates duplicates so it doesn’t actually help in reducing the amount of data you have stored on your server. If an email was sent to all 200 staff in your company, guess what? There are going to be 200 copies of that same email backed up. There are also no search capabilities so if you do have to hunt down an email, expect to spend hours or possibly even days looking for it.
Archiving was created to meet an increasing need for companies to be compliant and is much more versatile and user friendly than backups. Archiving software is designed to store emails long term and data isn’t overridden each time new copies are made. Forget trolling through countless emails looking for one in particular, as with archiving you can use key words to easily search for that vital email. This will come in handy when a solicitor’s letter comes across your desk and you need to dig up your email evidence in a hurry. The other great thing about archiving is it doesn’t duplicate, so it won’t put added pressure on your already precious storage space. Unlike backups, it saves just one copy of an email, no matter how many people it was sent to. Some archiving software like SD Archive actually frees up space on your server by reducing the size of your emails with a process called stubbing.
The biggest fan of archiving software is definitely the IT team, as once it is installed it operates independently, with little handholding required from the usually overstretched IT staff.
Does your company backup its email or archive it as well? Has archiving helped your business or has it made little difference? I would like to hear about your experiences.