White Paper. The benefits of a cloud-based archiving service. for use by organisations of any size

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1 White Paper The benefits of a cloud-based archiving service A White Paper by Bloor Research Author : Fran Howarth Publish date : June 2010

2 Given the importance placed today on s as a means of communication, it is vital that they be kept as business records Fran Howarth

3 The benefits of a cloud-based archiving service Executive summary The need to protect sensitive corporate information contained in s and their attachments is cited by organisations as among the prime motivations for investing in archiving technologies. This is in order to improve productivity by being able to quickly retrieve information as and when it is needed and to be able to answer litigation requests or achieve regulatory compliance. These requirements are not specific to large organisations or specific verticals such as financial services, for which many of the early technologies on the market were designed. Rather, even small organisations are finding the volumes of inbound and outbound s that they generate difficult to manage and are just as likely to face a business dispute as their larger counterparts. Subscribing to archiving services based in the cloud will bring many benefits to organisations in terms of reduced cost and risk, and improved value in having ready access to archives held in secure stores whenever they need them. They will also be able to benefit from immediate access to the service, with no setup time required and no ongoing management burden. This document outlines the benefits that organisations will see from subscribing to cloudbased archiving services. It is intended to be read by anyone in an organisation of any size who is looking for greater control over mounting problems caused by huge volumes of and the need to properly control those records. It is one of a series of three papers. The accompanying papers discuss the drivers for taking up archiving services and what should be included in the ideal service offering. Fast facts Cloud-based services are offered on a monthly subscription basis and require no upfront purchases of software licences or hardware by the organisation choosing them. Outsourced to an expert service provider, such services provide access to a consistent, secure archive of these important business records. archiving services lower the risk of being unable to find important documents and help in achieving regulatory compliance and answering litigation requests. The bottom line s today are of prime importance to organisations of all sizes in all walks of life and are the preferred method of communication. It is estimated that business users receive on average 600 s every week, many of which contain important information in the body of the text or in attachments that needs to be kept as a business record. Some regulations mandate that s and other business records be kept for specific time periods, often years. Whereas archiving systems were originally focused on the needs of large organisations, cloud-based services that have been developed recently provide a way for organisations of any size to benefit from these technologies in a cost-effective and efficient manner. A Bloor White Paper Bloor Research

4 The benefits of a cloud-based archiving service Prime motivations for investing in archiving systems The prime motivations for implementing an archiving solution are to protect sensitive corporate data, much of which is transmitted electronically via , to meet regulatory compliance and litigation requests, to control spiralling volumes of and to address productivity issues. These are issues that affect organisations of all sizes, from the largest enterprise or government agency, to the micro business with fewer than ten employees. As early archiving solutions were being developed, technology vendors initially focused on the needs of large organisations, with many systems aimed at specific niche sectors, such as financial services. SMEs face many of the same challenges as their larger counterparts, yet many find themselves unable to avail themselves of the sort of system designed to be implemented in-house to serve a multitude of users. Purchasing such on-premise systems requires that upfront licences be paid for the software or appliance and, in the case of a software implementation, hardware must be purchased to centrally manage the solution. For many SMEs, the cost of purchasing licences and the IT infrastructure required to run such a system in-house are beyond their means owing to limited budgets. Many SMEs also operate with limited IT resources, operating with just a limited IT department or even none at all. This constrains their ability to not only install technology systems, but to administer and manage the ongoing needs of the technology rollout in terms of managing the needs of users, upgrading software and policies as new needs come to light, and keeping the whole thing running Bloor Research A Bloor White Paper

5 The benefits of a cloud-based archiving service Reduction of costs a prime benefit To cater to the needs of SMEs in particular, although also suited to larger organisations and especially those with widely distributed operations, hosted archiving services, using data centres based in the cloud, provides a compelling alternative to the upfront costs and management burden of in-house implementations. In terms of the upfront costs for using the service, licences for users are paid for as a monthly subscription, with the number of users for which licences must be purchased variable according to actual demand. This provides greater flexibility for an SME to meet peaks and troughs in demand. With an in-house implementation, an organisation generally has to estimate the number of users that require the service and pay for that number of licences upfront on an annual basis. This can put an organisation at a costly disadvantage of having purchased more licences that it actually needs or, conversely, put it in a position where it does not have enough licences to cover every user, making the service less than comprehensive and putting some of its sensitive corporate information at risk of loss. Using SaaS applications based in the cloud has further cost benefits in terms of IT expenditure and complexity. As the service provider hosts the technology application on its own servers, based in its data centres in the cloud, the SME using the service does not need to purchase hardware such as servers and management consoles, meaning that it faces no additional IT infrastructure costs in order to use the service. One further benefit through use of third-party infrastructure is that an SME can be set up to use the service more quickly than if they had to install software and hardware themselves and can even test the service prior to committing to its use, rather in the same way that a person would test drive a car before committing to purchase it. This is something of great importance since an archive is only of use if the records can be easily and reliably restored. A Bloor White Paper Bloor Research

6 The benefits of a cloud-based archiving service Increased business value for the organisation For many SMEs, the prime benefit of using a hosted archiving service is that it will more easily and cheaply be able to maintain a consistent archive of its business communications for legal, HR, regulatory and business reasons. The service will provide it with a tamper-proof data trail in case it should be subject to any legal discovery or litigation challenges, rather like having insurance. As such it is a proactive enhancement to its business, rather than the more costly alternative of reacting to events as they occur. This will put it in a better position to achieve its business continuity objectives, allowing it to mitigate against a disaster such as losing sensitive business records or being unable to respond to demands for its business records as evidence, with failure to produce what is required often resulting in sanctions such as fines. Further, by offloading tasks to a neutral third party service provider, some of the risk of failure is shared owing to the guarantees that are provided by that third party. Cost Subscription-based pricing provides a more flexible, predictable pricing model than traditional in-house technology implementations No additional IT infrastructural costs required for use of a hosted service Value Consistent archive for legal, HR, regulatory and business reasons Enhanced ability to protect corporate data, meet regulatory compliance and litigation requests, control spiralling volumes of and address productivity issues Risk Less risk of being unable to retrieve data from overloaded servers, backup tapes and local stores created by users to circumvent mailbox quotas and limitations Lowered risk of non-compliance with regulatory requirements or of being unable to provide evidence needed for answering litigation requests or in handling disputes Reduced risk of being unable to retrieve important documents as data is stored in multiple secure locations and encrypted to prevent unauthorised access Table: Summary of benefits of a cloud-based archiving system Bloor Research A Bloor White Paper

7 The benefits of a cloud-based archiving service Summary Given the importance placed today on s as a means of communication, it is vital that they be kept as business records. s are regularly used to communicate contracts, invoices, job offers and many other important business documents. Not only do some regulations demand that such records be kept in a secure manner, it is important that they can be retrieved as evidence in case of a dispute, or even just for retrieving historical information when it is needed, such as documents pertaining to a sales negotiation process. Subscribing to an archiving service hosted in the cloud provides an efficient, cost-effective way of ensuring that records are not only kept securely, but can be searched for and retrieved as and when they are needed. Because such services are provided on a monthly subscription service, those subscribing to them benefit from the fact that no upfront investment is required in terms of software licences or hardware, which reduces the capital expenditure outlay. This is a key benefit not only for resource-strapped small and medium organisations, but also larger firms that are facing high levels of scrutiny over their budgets. They are also highly suited to geographically dispersed organisations with any number of branch offices and mobile workers because the s are stored in one central archive that can be accessed by all who need to. Further Information Further information about this subject is available from A Bloor White Paper Bloor Research

8 Bloor Research overview Bloor Research is one of Europe s leading IT research, analysis and consultancy organisations. We explain how to bring greater Agility to corporate IT systems through the effective governance, management and leverage of Information. We have built a reputation for telling the right story with independent, intelligent, well-articulated communications content and publications on all aspects of the ICT industry. We believe the objective of telling the right story is to: Describe the technology in context to its business value and the other systems and processes it interacts with. Understand how new and innovative technologies fit in with existing ICT investments. Look at the whole market and explain all the solutions available and how they can be more effectively evaluated. About the author Fran Howarth Senior Analyst - Security Fran Howarth specialises in the field of security, primarily information security, but with a keen interest in physical security and how the two are converging. Fran s other main areas of interest are new delivery models, such as cloud computing, information governance, web, network and application security, identity and access management, and encryption. Fran focuses on the business needs for security technologies, looking at the benefits they gain from their use and how organisations can defend themselves against the threats that they face in an ever-changing landscape. For more than 20 years, Fran has worked in an advisory capacity as an analyst, consultant and writer. She writes regularly for a number of publications, including Silicon, Computer Weekly, Computer Reseller News, IT-Analysis and Computing Magazine. Fran is also a regular contributor to Security Management Practices of the Faulkner Information Services division of InfoToday. Filter noise and make it easier to find the additional information or news that supports both investment and implementation. Ensure all our content is available through the most appropriate channel. Founded in 1989, we have spent over two decades distributing research and analysis to IT user and vendor organisations throughout the world via online subscriptions, tailored research services, events and consultancy projects. We are committed to turning our knowledge into business value for you.

9 Copyright & disclaimer This document is copyright 2010 Bloor Research. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any method whatsoever without the prior consent of Bloor Research. Due to the nature of this material, numerous hardware and software products have been mentioned by name. In the majority, if not all, of the cases, these product names are claimed as trademarks by the companies that manufacture the products. It is not Bloor Research s intent to claim these names or trademarks as our own. Likewise, company logos, graphics or screen shots have been reproduced with the consent of the owner and are subject to that owner s copyright. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this document to ensure that the information is correct, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.

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