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GFI® Software Survey: 69% of U.S. Businesses Say Employee Requests for Deleted Email Retrieval Negatively Impact IT Staff Productivity

Research also indicates that while organizations strongly value the data contained within their email, they are tapping into it inefficiently

GFI Software today released research showing that U.S. businesses are failing to maximize the efficiency with which they extract useful business intelligence from archived email. While a majority of businesses value this information — including for analysis of communication trends and response times to customer queries, storage capacity monitoring and data leakage protection—many are using only the most basic tools to archive their email.

The independent blind survey of 200 IT decision makers in U.S. organizations was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software. It reveals how organizations retain and reuse email data, what solutions they have in place for doing this, what value they place on email data and how frequently the IT department is called upon to assist in the recovery of email from archives to support employees.

Key highlights from the survey include:

  • 69% of respondents indicate that employee requests for assistance retrieving deleted emails limits the productivity of their IT staff
  • On average, respondents say they receive more than 15 requests per week from users who need access to old or archived email, while one in four (26%) of those surveyed have to field 18 requests or more per week
  • 45% of those surveyed have no IT solution for managing and automating email archive retention and retrieval
  • 19% say the information contained within their archived email is “priceless” to the organization, while three quarters (75%) value their organization’s archived email data at more than $100,000
  • 24% of respondents do not believe they are storing their email in the most cost-effective way, and one quarter (25%) do not know if their current process is cost-effective

“Email data is much more than a simple communications tool for most organizations,” said Brian Azzopardi, MailArchiver product manager at GFI Software. “This research highlights how email archives have become business-critical unstructured databases that retain key knowledge, workflow information and customer contact data that continues to offer significant value to an organization even after it is placed into an archive.”

Helping SMBs Make Smarter Decisions
Email is increasingly being used as a business intelligence tool, with the survey revealing that 75% of those questioned use email for communication trend analysis, while three quarters (76%) use historical email to plot response times to customer queries, particularly in sales-driven environments.

“Organizations cannot afford to allow email to gather virtual dust once archived, and neither can they allow the retrieval of historical email to impact IT efficiency,” Azzopardi added. “This research shows how email retention forms part of the overall business intelligence strategy and how, with the right tools, an existing asset like email data can deliver long-term value to organizations of all sizes.”

Many SMBs Lack Adequate Email Archiving
More than one third (37%) of those surveyed still employ manual processes for the retention of email, with server-side storage of Microsoft® Outlook PST archive files, while 29% retain archives on individual users machines.

The use of web-based hosted email services in the workplace, such as Gmail, has had a significant impact on the way users retain email, with 30% of those surveyed using it for the storage of some or all archived email—a practice most prevalent among smaller organizations of 10-49 employees, where more than half (51%) utilize it.

Full survey results are available upon request.

The survey coincides with the launch of the latest version of GFI MailArchiver™ (see related announcement: GFI Software Introduces First Email Archiving Solution with Advanced Business Intelligence Capabilities), which now includes MailInsights, a first-of-its-kind data analysis tool that enables SMBs to maximize the wealth of information contained within their email archives. Combined with the archiving and recovery capabilities of MailArchiver, MailInsights enables SMBs to analyze email interactions to understand email response times; spot trends such as common keywords or topics in emails being sent and received; identify which users or types of email attachments consumethe most storage space; learn exactly who the organization emails the most; and to defend against and respond to requests for the disclosure of information.

To learn more about GFI MailArchiver, call 1-888-243-4329, email sales@gfi.com or visit www.gfi.com to download a free trial.

About GFI
GFI Software provides web and mail security, archiving, backup and fax, networking and security software and hosted IT solutions for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) via an extensive global partner community. GFI products are available either as on-premise solutions, in the cloud or as a hybrid of both delivery models. With award-winning technology, a competitive pricing strategy, and a strong focus on the unique requirements of SMBs, GFI satisfies the IT needs of organizations on a global scale. The company has offices in the United States (North Carolina, California and Florida), UK (London and Dundee), Austria, Australia, Malta, Hong Kong, Philippines and Romania, which together support hundreds of thousands of installations worldwide. GFI is a channel-focused company with thousands of partners throughout the world and is also a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.