May 30, 2009

The good, the bad, and the ugly about email managment

AIIM’s research…

The survey was taken by 1,109 individual members of the AIIM community between March 23rd and April 3rd, 2009, using a Web-based tool. Invitations to take the survey were sent via e-mail to the AIIM community of 65,000.

On average, our respondents spend more than an hour and a half per day processing their emails, with one in five spending three or more hours of their day.

Over half have hand-held access by phones, Blackberries and PDAs. Two thirds process work-related emails outside office hours with 28 percent confessing to doing so “after work, on weekends and during vacations”.

“Sheer overload” is reported as the biggest problem with email as a business tool, followed closely by “Finding and recovering past emails” and “Keeping track of actions”.

Email archiving, legal discovery, findability and storage volumes are the biggest current concerns within organizations, with security and spam now considered less of a concern by respondents.

Over half of respondents are “not confident” or only “slightly confident” that emails related to documenting commitments and obligations made by staff are recorded, complete and retrievable.

Only 10 percent of organizations have completed an enterprise-wide email management initiative, with 20 percent currently rolling out a project. Even in larger organizations, 17 percent have no plans to, although the remaining 29 percent are planning to start sometime in the next 2 years.

Some 45 percent of organizations (including the largest ones) do not have a policy on Outlook “Archive settings,” so most users will likely create .pst archive files on local drives.

Only 19 percent of those surveyed capture important emails to a dedicated email management system or to a general purpose ECM system. 18 percent print emails and file as paper, and a worrying 45 percent file in nonshared personal Outlook folders.

A third of organizations have no policy to deal with legal discovery, 40 percent would likely have to search back-up tapes, and 23 percent feel they would have gaps from deleted emails. Only 16 percent have retention policies that would justify deleted emails.

Download the entire, 17-page report, containing 21 graphs and charts.

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