Many large UK firms forgetting email management

High numbers of UK organisations are failing to implement fundamental email management and compliance procedures, a survey revealed last week.

The report released by AIIM UK showed that over a third of large companies admitted that their email management system is in "complete chaos" - the lowest ranking option to select on the questionnaire.

The same number - 38 percent - of end users acknowledged they had no policy on email archiving or they didn't know what it was.

Over two-thirds of those surveyed declared that emails used by former employees aren't archived properly, and a third of UK corporations don't have any plans in place to deal with compliance issues - particularly in the case of historical records - leaving them vulnerable to a multitude of compliance risks.

Doug Miles, managing director of AIIM UK said the results of the survey were not a surprise.

"If you ask different people within a company what the policy is on email management, you will get different responses. Sometimes, if you ask what the company process is for storing emails of a former employee they will look at you blankly," he said.

He emphasised the need for corporations to employ email archiving and added: "This is a very serious matter. Information exchanges are now universally done via email, therefore an audit trail can get lost in someone's inbox and this can cause many problems for the organisation."

According to Claire Sellick, Documation UK event director, where the complete findings of the survey will be available, this highlights the need for thorough training.

"All organisations whether large or small must recognise compliance as part of their daily procedures and provide the necessary training and resources to all staff," she said.

However, Miles said things are slowly beginning to change: "It's finally getting through to people at a high level. Realising the legal implications their companies could face, they're starting to put procedures into place."

All organisations completed the questionnaire anonymously during May and June of this year. The full results will be available at Documation UK, which takes place on Oct 18 and 19 in London.

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