SOURCE: AIIM - The ECM Association

October 11, 2006 11:10 ET

E-mail Management: An Oxymoron?

New AIIM Study Finds Organizations at Risk for Casual Approach to Managing Electronic Information

SILVER SPRING, MD -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 11, 2006 -- AIIM - The Enterprise Content Management Association releases results from its new Industry Watch study " E-mail Management: An Oxymoron?" The study of over 1,000+ end users (sponsored by EMC (NYSE: EMC), FileNet (NASDAQ: FILE), IBM (NYSE: IBM), and TOWER Software) found that most organizations make heavy use of e-mail -- it is the central means by which most business decisions are documented -- yet most organizations continue to have a very casual attitude toward its management. "This casual approach poses significant risks to organizations," states AIIM President John F. Mancini.

"There are major costs associated with simply providing the storage (hardware, software, and people) necessary to managing increasing volumes of unmanaged e-mail," continues Mancini. "Secondly, unmanaged e-mail represents a drag on key processes and forces organizations to resort to manual rather than automated processes. Most importantly -- and reflected in many sensational press stories -- unmanaged e-mail creates significant litigation and e-discovery risks."

Given the profound challenges facing organizations, when it comes to implementing e-mail management solutions, most end users prefer to link these solutions to their broader records and information management solution. They see enterprise content management (ECM) suppliers as the preferred source of these solutions, creating a significant opportunity for those with robust e-mail management solutions. "As might be expected, most end users place a higher priority on the 'basics' of e-mail management (retention and archiving)," states Mancini. "At least until they get these 'basics' under control."

To download the Full Study, go to

Key Findings:

--  More than 1 in 3 end users (35%) report that they have "not yet begun"
    to address such core e-mail management issues as archiving, life cycle
    management, retention, and disposition.
--  Another 41% indicate that they have begun to address e-mail
    management, but "much remains to be done."
--  51.9% of small organizations indicate that they have yet to begin vs.
    less than half as many (25.1%) at large organizations with more than 10,000
--  Only 44% of those surveyed indicate that they have a policy or
    strategy toward e-mail retention in their organization.
--  Small organizations (31% responding "YES") and mid-sized organizations
    (29% responding "YES") are far less likely to have addressed the issue of e-
    mail retention than large organizations.
One of the key drivers often mentioned by end users in terms of pushing them to finally do "something" about e-mail management in their organization is concern about how they would respond to a discovery request centered on e-mail. 25% of those surveyed indicate that they have had to respond at least once in the past year to an e-discovery request. When one examines only those expressing a definite response (i.e., eliminating those who responded "Don't Know"), the percentage climbs to 43%.

The threat of upheaval from e-mail discovery requests is particularly significant for large and giant organizations (those with more than 1,000 employees). Over 21% of these organizations (among those giving a response) report more than 10 instances over the past year in which e-mails were tapped during e-discovery or during an internal investigation.

About the Survey

This Industry Watch survey on E-mail Management was conducted during August and September 2006, and was administered through an online survey instrument, A total of 1,043 end users participated in the survey.

The majority of the participants in the survey (58%) were from fairly large organizations (more than 1,000 employees). Mid-sized organizations (defined as those with between 100 and 1,000 employees) comprised 24% of the survey participants. 70% of the respondents were from the U.S., 10% from Canada, and 6% from the United Kingdom.

There was a wide distribution in vertical industries represented by the survey participants, with the largest participation from government (all levels) end users (21%), followed closely by financial services -- banking and insurance (14%), manufacturing and engineering (9%), and utilities, oil & gas (7%).

In terms of the job functions of the participants, there was a close alignment with the overall distribution of the AIIM membership. Records management specialists represented 28% of the survey participants, followed by those focused on document management (15%) and IT senior executives and managers (15%).

About AIIM ( - The Enterprise Content Management Association

AIIM is the international authority on Enterprise Content Management (ECM) -- the tools and technologies used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM enables four key business drivers: Continuity, Collaboration, Compliance, and Costs.

For over 60 years, AIIM has been the leading non-profit organization focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, and business processes. Today, AIIM is international in scope, independent, implementation-focused, and, as the representative of the entire ECM industry -- including users, suppliers, and the channel -- acts as the industry's intermediary.

As a neutral and unbiased source of information, AIIM serves the needs of its members and the industry by providing educational opportunities, professional development, reference and knowledge resources, networking events, and industry advocacy. Visit AIIM's Industry Watch BLOG at

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Beth Mayhew
    Senior Manager, Marketing, Branding & Public Relations
    AIIM - The ECM Association
    1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1100, Silver Spring, MD 20910
    Email Contact