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Survey: 69% of SMBs Claim Deleted Email Retrieval Lowers IT Staff Productivity [INFOGRAPHIC]

on January 10, 2012

Email is not only business-critical, but it is one huge repository of unstructured data that contains key knowledge, workflow information and customer contact data. All this data can offer significant value to an organization even after it is placed into an archive or most likely left in a PST file on a user’s machine.

The infographic shows the results from a recent survey commissioned by GFI Software among 200 SMBs in the US and UK, and found, amongst other worrying statistics, that more than two-thirds of SMBs (69% and 66% respectively) fail to maximize the efficiency with which they extract useful business intelligence from archived email.

Find out why email archiving is so important for your business – check out our three minute video primer on email archiving and what it involves.


The surveys of 200 U.S.- and U.K.-based IT decision makers at organizations with between five and 249 employees were fielded by noted polling expert Opinion Matters, between November 1- 7, 2011.

About the Author:

Christina is Web Marketing Content Specialist at GFI Software. She is a keen blogger and has contributed content to several IT sites, besides working as an editor and regular contributor to Talk Tech to Me. Christina also writes for various publications including the Times of Malta and its technology supplement.

Hugh Robertson January 11, 20125:14 am

As an HR officer, retrieving old emails is not just part of my work – I live with it. I get tons of applications every week and I treat all received emails as assets.

This is the reason why I don’t “permanently” delete all my foldered and important emails – except for spams of course. I still have email messages, schedules, and contacts dating way back 2006. It’s been almost six years but I have no plans in deleting them. I just stored most of them on my external 1TB hard disk. It also helps that my company has a cloud storage account wherein I can store work-related files to the cloud and access them anywhere.

Von W. January 15, 20124:40 pm

45 percent does not have an email archiving solution – wow this is unbelievable. This just means that small businesses have to reinvent and familiarize itself to the concept of proper IT investment.

We are in deep financial trouble now but this should not hinder one from getting an email archiving solution. Investing on email solutions is a great way to earn more money for the business in the future.

I’m also kinda worried of the 50 percent who said that their organization does not archive efficiently. They should learn now than suffer the consequences later.

Nick Gonzales January 16, 20128:00 pm

It’s kind of impressive to see just how many times per week the average employee needs to resource old emails. Without a proper archiving solution, whether or not you find what you’re looking for is a virtual crap shoot. It should be an easy sell to anybody that routinely digs through their mail looking for something.

Gilbert Mason January 18, 20125:39 pm

Hi Christina. How about data from other countries who are considered as the fastest growing territories in terms of business and work email penetration (China, India, Brazil, Russia, and the Philippines)? The United States and United Kingdom are just a small fraction of the entirety of this situation. How about the rest of Europe (France, Germany, and Italy)?

Don’t get me wrong, the infographic above is top-notch and well-researched. But it would have been better if you’ve also included 2-3 other countries as your case studies.

Christina Goggi January 23, 20129:38 am

Thank you, Gilbert. I’m glad that you found the infographic and research to be of interest. You made a valid point and I agree that it would be interesting to see what the trend is like in other regions such as Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. We are looking into the possibility of conducting similar research in other countries as part of our ongoing research activities.

Kelly Porter January 19, 20127:15 pm

Email is NOT business-critical, it’s the BUSINESS itself. I could not imagine my work and life without email – how could I communicate, how could I do my work? I know this sounds out of context but email, nowadays, is the major backbone of all tech-based business around the world. Even most small IT enterprises in third world countries utilize email.

Sam Peters January 25, 20128:25 am

I never knew that my old emails can be valued as much as $1 million. When it comes to old email messages, I can be categorized as a hoarder. I’ve archived, saved, and collected more than seven gigabytes worth of data – and this is only for my corporate email accounts since I first started working (in 2003).

You will never know how much is your email data are worth not until you need to retrieve or read it again. I’ve been an editor for a local magazine company and accessing old emails is really important for referencing purposes.

exchange email archiving April 9, 20122:01 pm

Sam here is right on the money. I have recently started work in a local paper and referencing old emails for information is very important. Great post!