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News

Inefficient E-mail Usage in UK Business Revealed

GFI Software : 16 November, 2011  (Technical Article)
Survey from GFI Softare unveils the problems of e-mail security and usage endemic in UK businesses
Inefficient E-mail Usage in UK Business Revealed
GFI Software has released research showing that UK businesses are failing to maximise the efficiency with which they extract useful business intelligence from archived email. While a majority of businesses value this information – including for analysis of communication trends and response times to customer queries, storage capacity monitoring and data leakage protection – many are using only the most basic tools to archive their email.

The independent blind survey of 201 IT decision makers in UK organisations was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software. It examines how organisations retain and reuse email data, what solutions they have in place for doing this, what value they place on email data and how frequently the IT department is called upon to assist in the recovery of email from archives to support employees.

Key highlights from the survey include:

* 66% of respondents indicate that employee requests for assistance retrieving deleted emails limits the productivity of their IT staff

* On average, respondents say they receive more than 16 requests per week from users who need access to old or archived email, while 15% of those surveyed have to field 18 requests or more per week

* 42% of those surveyed have no IT solution for managing and automating email archive retention and retrieval

* 22% say the information contained within their archived email is priceless to the organisation, while two thirds (62%) value their organisation’s archived email data at more than £100,000

* 15% of respondents do not believe they are storing their email in the most cost-effective way, and almost a third (29%) do not know if their current process is cost-effective

“Email data is much more than a simple communications tool for most organisations,” said Brian Azzopardi, MailArchiver product manager at GFI Software. “This research highlights how email archives have become business-critical unstructured databases that retain key knowledge, workflow information and customer contact data that continues to offer significant value to an organisation even after it is placed into an archive.”

Email is increasingly being used as a business intelligence tool, with the survey revealing that 70% of those questioned use email for communication trend analysis, while over two thirds use historical email to plot response times to customer queries, particularly in sales-driven environments.

“Organisations cannot afford to allow email to gather virtual dust once archived, and neither can they allow the retrieval of historical email to impact IT efficiency,” Azzopardi added. “This research shows how email retention forms part of the overall business intelligence strategy and how, with the right tools, an existing asset like email data can deliver long-term value to organisations of all sizes.”

Nearly one third (30%) of those surveyed still employ manual processes for the retention of email, with server-side storage of Microsoft® Outlook PST archive files, while more than one quarter (26%) retain archives on individual users machines.

The use of web-based hosted email services in the workplace, such as Gmail, has had a significant impact on the way users retain email, with 23% of those surveyed using it for the storage of some or all archived email – a practice prevalent among smaller Organisations of 10-49 employees, where 30% use it.

The survey coincides with the launch of the latest version of GFI MailArchiver which now includes MailInsights, a first-of-its-kind data analysis tool that enables SMBs to maximise the wealth of information contained within their email archives. Combined with the archiving and recovery capabilities of MailArchiver, MailInsights enables SMBs to analyse email interactions to understand email response times; spot trends such as common keywords or topics in emails being sent and received; identify which users or types of email attachments consume the most storage space; learn exactly who the organisation emails the most; and to defend against and respond to requests for the disclosure of information.
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