Email: Reason Enough
“Workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana, a British study shows.”
Emails ‘hurt IQ more than pot,’ CNN.com[1. Emails ‘hurt IQ more than pot,’ CNN.com, April 22, 2005.]
IN BRIEF. IG makes sense because it helps organizations take control of email. Solving email should be a top priority for every organization.
According to the study quoted above, using email can be hazardous to your intelligence. Sometimes I think that the same IQ deficit sets in when companies try to manage email. Everything they have learned about information management seems to be forgotten, and they end up with policies that indiscriminately keep every email message, or throw away every message, regardless of what the message contains. Or, they impose volume limitations without the support of a policy that tells employees that some messages have legal implications and cannot be tossed simply because they violate an arbitrary storage limitation. Or, they just do nothing.
Email is how we do business today. Our email systems are full of “a significant number of important emails involving the organization in obligations, agreements, contracts, regulations and discussion.”[2. AIIM International, “AIIM Industry Watch: Email Management, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” AIIM International, May 2009.] At the same time, email mismanagement causes so many problems that it’s amazing we use it at all.
IG helps us take control of the email management problem. IG policies provide rules on how email is managed. Retention schedules guide the retention and disposition of email. Information technology helps us implement and enforce the policies. IG training ensures that everyone understand their responsibilities.
Apply IG to your email system – it’s reason enough to invest in an IG program. When doing so, keep the following in mind:
1) Develop defensible policies that align with your approach to information management in other systems
2) Consider turning off the ability for users to export email to local files
3) Ensure that your Legal Hold process covers email
4) Look at email archiving to reduce volume, duplication, and improve centralized management capabilities