The great film director, screen writer and producer, Billy Wilder once said “hindsight is always twenty-twenty”.
Donal McGuire- Waterford Technologies
This is never more so than following major disasters and tragedies and the official inquiries or tribunals that investigate and examine the happenings that ultimately led to the tragic events. Part of their function is to make recommendations that are intended to eradicate the possibility of a similar calamity occurring, or at least mitigate the consequences of a similar occurrence, for unhappily lightening often does strike twice.
It is striking how often the recommendations of such inquiries seem so obvious as to be incredible that they had not been in place at the time of the disaster. For example the sinking of the Titanic on 15th April 1912 resulted in two inquiries: one by the British Wreck Commissioner on behalf of the British Board of Trade in the United Kingdom; and one by the United States Senate’s Commerce Committee. Both inquiries recommended that in future passenger liners should have enough lifeboats for all on board. Hardly rocket science you might think, and although it is a myth that White Star Line ever made the claim that the Titanic was unsinkable, Captain Edward Smith had been quoted as saying “I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder…Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.” So it may well be that few could envisage the event that caused the Titanic to sink. However, if there had been enough lifeboats we would remember the event for very different reasons.
It is only when disasters in business affect society generally that they lead to any form of official investigation, but all businesses can, and frequently do, experience ‘the unexpected’. Few such events can truly be said to be not foreseeable, most can be avoided and planned for. Systems can be put in place that can provide solutions to problems that your business has not yet experienced. By doing so the consequences of events need not be calamitous or expensive or damage the reputation of your business. Any internal investigations into business failings usually conclude that the problems were entirely avoidable if certain steps had been undertaken and systems introduced, and usually at a fraction of the cost of dealing with the fall out.
Your Email archiving system should be designed to protect your company from life’s unexpected twists and turns. It should incorporate detailed easily navigable reporting features that can solve the problem and prevent it from ever having befallen your company in the first place! To be effective, an email archive must do the following:
- Capture everything, sent or received, internal or external
- Index everything so it can quickly be found. Imagine finding a word in a book without an index?
- Preserve the integrity of the content and format for reproduction
Not only is your data secure with such a system in place, but you can release the value of your archive by providing advanced search, retention management, compliance review, storage management and eDiscovery capabilities.
The accidental deletion of a vital email – or more likely the email that turns out to be THE vital email – can lead to untold problems and expense for your business if you do not have an email archiving solution that has these capabilities. The time and expense of manually trawling through documents generated electronically should be a thing of the past. It is unnecessary and expensive. Without an email archiving solution it is also likely to be incomplete and inaccurate. Your business might not have experienced a FOI request, or been bogged down in complex litigation or employment issues, but we all know that if something can go wrong it will, and usually at the worst possible time. So it will happen sooner or later. Therefore don’t operate in the hope that such events will never affect your business. Plan ahead. Have the solution before you are vexed by the problem. Be like Sophocles and “have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect ” because sooner or later ………..