Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: E-Mail Rules for Records Managers

Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: E-Mail Rules for Records Managers

Article excerpt

Book Review: E-mail Rules for Records Managers

E-Mail Rules: A Business Guide to Managing Policies, Security, and Legal Issues for E-Mail and Digital Communication is a tightly written book on a subject that should be of great concern to all records managers.

Before opening the book, however, readers should be aware of author biases and corporate sponsors. Authors Nancy Flynn and Randolph Kahn provide e-mail and electronic records anfit retention policy development and training services. Flynn also provides training in e-mail writing and "netiquette." Kahn, an attorney, offers legal, risk management, and information technology policy issues consulting services. The publication was sponsored by Clearswift Corp., a provider of software for managing and securing electronic communications including content filtering features; Iron Mountain Digital Archives, an e-mail archiving and records management services provider; and Legato Systems Inc., a provider of software for e-mail management and archiving.

Armed with this knowledge, E-Mail Rules readers should be aware that much of the valuable information presented in the book is biased toward a solution that the authors and their sponsors feel quite capable of resolving, should they be asked. When a given rule is presented, the "pro" position is well covered, but the "con" position may receive little or no attention.

If you read this book with care, however, you will be well rewarded for the effort. The authors begin with two premises: E-mail is (1) a critical business tool and the information contained therein is an asset that must be managed, and (2) the only solution is electronic control via software. To build the case for an electronic software management solution, the authors set forth 37 rules or guidelines that an organization must address to achieve a comfort level that "all bases are covered." The rules cover the following areas of concern:

* Retention: You can't just throw it away.

* Disposition: You can't keep everything forever.

* Classification: E-mail is intended for business purposes.

* Transmission: E-mail interception is a risk.

* Data Protection: Failure to control business-critical data is not an option.

* Central Management: Necessary in the age of e-mail

* Metadata: Information about e-mail is critical.

* Technological Solutions: Is the answer only a purchase order away?

* User Management: Take control of the desktop.

* Electronic Time Management: Sending, receiving, replying, and deleting while still putting in a productive day.

* Mixed Messages: It's not just e-mail anymore.

The book is designed for a fast read using an outline style, focused paragraphs, bullet-point lists, and a choice of words that flows from the DOS for Dummies tradition. …

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