IT management needs to be able to comply with the various agreed good practise and legal requirements surrounding email storage and retrieval. Below is a list of questions, ask them of your organisation. If you cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, you do not comply with the public authority code of best practise in email management, and you will not be able to meet your obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, which comes in force on the 1st January 2005.
Can we retrieve emails via a query search?
Would it take longer than 20 days to search all historic emails to find information contained in one of them?
Is access to historic email audited?
Can we search for information held in email attachments?
Can we prove that the results of any search of our current systems also include emails deleted or revised by users?
If we change our email system at any stage in the future, will that cause us any problems? Will we have to buy a new archive solution for the new mail system and have to maintain two archive systems? Will we have to, or even be able to, import all of the data in our existing archive into the new one?