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Information Governance – The Evolution of Email Archiving?

Published on February 23, 2010 by in email

The email archiving space has changed and evolved dramatically since it was created to deal with Microsoft Exchange mailbox management. From there, SEC and NASD compliance requirements led to the creation of mail server journaling and the need to archive journaled email as well as instant messages and other communications sent by broker-dealers. Then in 2006, the amendments to FRCP formally introduced email archives to eDiscovery. Fast forward to 2010 and we now have 1000s of SharePoint sites within a single company, proactive eDiscovery, reactive eDiscovery, and other requirements.

It seems about time the space adopted a new name fitting for the growing and expanded requirements for the unstructured content archives that started off as email mailbox management solutions. I thought of this last year and started using the term Information Governance internally. Since then, I’ve run across the term (through no action of my own) used by The 451 Group and, as of today, ARMA with respect to their Legal Information Technology Conference 2010 titled “Legal Information Technology Conference 2010.” The ARMA conference covers the following topics which seem especially suited to the evolution of email archives:

  1. Cloud computing and data hosting
  2. Web and Enterprise 2.0, i.e., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Yammer, Portals/Intranets, Wikis,
  3. Blogs, Instant Messaging, etc
  4. Rules of Professional Conduct/Lawyer Ethics
  5. Email management
  6. Knowledge management
  7. Virtualization
  8. SharePoint
  9. Managing multiple jurisdictions
  10. Electronic records management/electronic document management
  11. Emerging technologies and trends, (Web 3.0/Semantic Web, Unified Communications, etc.)
  12. Conflicts of Interest/new business intake.
  13. Point applications being deployed which affect information governance (digital dictation, litigation support software, tax document prep software, etc.)
  14. eDiscovery: implications for firms and their clients

What do you think? Is Information Governance a good successor term for Email Archiving? Are there better terms?

Photo courtesy of Mzelle Biscotte.

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1 Comment  comments 
  • Adam Bullock

    I like it, “information governance” really does capture the evolution of email archiving. For all the reasons you explain above, as well as with FINRA’s latest regulatory notice 10-06 pertaining to social media – more than just email needs to be retained, indexed, and searchable.

    Great post!