AIIM Survey: Email A Major Legal Discovery Risk

ECM industry researcher finds 84% of organizations have no way to justify why email of a certain age or type had been deleted

May 13, 2009

3 Min Read


Silver Spring, MD " May 12, 2009 " ECM industry researcher AIIM, has found that a third of organizations have no policy to deal with legal discovery and 40% might need to search back-up tapes to find emails that could be relevant to litigation.

This new 2009 AIIM survey, which was supported by EMC Corporation and ASG, found that 84% would have no way to justify why emails of a certain age or type had been deleted. In AIIM's view, most organizations are only just waking up to the fact that among the deluge of day-to-day emails, are some that constitute important business records. These emails need to be recorded and retained as such.

Over half of respondents lack confidence that emails related to documenting commitments and obligations made by staff are recorded, complete and recoverable. This number has not improved over the last three AIIM surveys. Perhaps this finding is not surprising given that 45% of respondents are still filing important emails in personal Outlook folders. A resolute 18% print important emails and file them as paper. Only 19% have the facility to move important emails into a document or records management system, or a dedicated email management system. Doug Miles, Director of Market Intelligence at AIIM, comments, "This is not just a legal discovery issue. Finding and recovering past emails is cited as the number two problem with email as a business tool - after 'sheer overload' at number one. Given that most people spend more than 1 ½ hours per day processing emails this is a major efficiency issue. The good news is that a third of organizations plan fresh investment in email management initiatives over the next two years."

The new AIIM research also found that two-thirds of respondents access emails on the move, and a startling 28% normally process work-related emails on weekends and while on vacation.

The full report in the AIIM Industry Watch series, "Email Management, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly", can be downloaded for free at Email Management is also addressed in the AIIM Certificate Training Program which is available on the Web or as classroom courses at

About AIIM AIIM ( is the community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organizations find, control, and optimize their information. The AIIM community has grown to over 65,000 professionals from all industries and government, in over 150 unique countries, and within all levels of management including senior executives, line-of-business, and IT.

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 enterprise content management (ECM) industry—including users, suppliers, and the channel—acts as the industry's intermediary.

About the Sponsors About EMC: EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world's leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at

About ASG ASG provides software solutions to more than 85 percent of the world's largest companies. Through its comprehensive Business Service Management (BSM) solution, Business Service Portfolio, ASG is an established BSM provider with a strong heritage in information management, applications management, infrastructure and operations management, performance management, and service and support technologies. ASG enables clients to reduce costs, improve business-service delivery and reduce risks. More information about ASG can be found at

For more information, contact: Beth Mayhew Director AIIM 301.755.2681 [email protected] Doug Miles Director, Market Intelligence AIIM +44.1905.727600 [email protected]

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