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Email's Mea Culpa

5:50 PM -- Could you really get hold of a specific email if lawyers or the SEC were breathing down your neck?

A study released today by Osterman Research reveals that more and more firms are coming under pressure to quickly retrieve emails in the aftermath of legal action. The survey, sponsored by archiving vendor LiveOffice, found that 63 percent of the 400 IT managers surveyed have already been required to find emails as a result of a legal action. (See Survey Reveals Users Unprepared.)

Worryingly, nearly a third of the execs polled said that, even if they had to, they would not be able to lay their hands on an email that is a year old. Similarly, more than half said that they are not ready to meet the data retention requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), which forces firms to make electronic documents available in legal disputes. (See Law Firms Face Storage Challenges, FRCP Tip Sheet, Federal Schmederal, and FBI.)

This followed a report earlier this month from analyst firm IDC, which shows that the need to store and retrieve email for legal purposes is helping drive massive growth in the email archiving market, which grew 45 percent last year. (See IDC Reports Archiving Trends.)

It looks as if lawyers are not the only ones rubbing their hands together at the moment -- our increasingly litigious society spells boom-time for technology vendors, too.

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