According to Kroll Ontrack, the average IT administrator spends a quarter of their time dealing with mailbox recoveries, much of which could be avoided by basic archive management.
It claimed that medium-sized enterprises are likely to have small IT teams or one-man departments meaning that managers need to be time efficient and deal with reduced budgets.
They also need to understand the hidden costs associated with mailbox recovery, such as setting up a recovery server and the time spent retrieving information from full or brick-level backups.
With the number of emails projected to increase from the current level of 156 email messages per user per day to 233 by 2012, this cost is set to rise further over the next three years – resulting in a multi-million pound bill for the sector.
Kroll Ontrack claimed that businesses therefore face a difficult choice between incurring such costs or not recovering the data and potentially compromising their commercial interests.
Phil Bridge, UK managing director at Kroll Ontrack, said: “It is more a case of when, and not if, mailbox data loss occurs. Not recognising that data loss is inevitable could ultimately be very costly.
“The loss of mailbox data can dramatically impact IT efficiency as it diverts valuable resources away from other important activities. By reducing archive size initially and putting a reliable software solution in place to enable fast retrieval of mailbox data, IT managers can be confident they provide fast, effective and cost-efficient mailbox data recovery.”
Kroll Ontrack has devised a three-point plan outlining how to achieve effective mailbox archive management:
1. Minimise archive size and cost - following an initial backup, the data that is transferred to the archives should be evaluated. Data with a business, compliance or proprietary value should be retained.
2. Maintain archive health – archived data is valuable. Regularly ensure archives are functioning and that the location and identification of data on the archives is documented.
3. Safe erasure – data that is not archived should be permanently erased using accredited software.
Following this process will result in a smaller and more manageable archive should information need to be retrieved following data loss. Putting effective policies in place is particularly important as mailboxes are a repository for a wide variety of information, including business and financial records, contacts and calendars.