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When archiving goes interactive

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The advent of cloud computing has come and gone, says NATHANIEL BORENSTEIN, chief scientist at Mimecast. But how can we harness this technology to fuel further innovation within the e-mail environment?

Not all too long ago, cloud computing was a foreign and distant concept. Although it promised to fundamentally alter the way in which we relate to and store information, it was little more than a notion or idea that was beginning to find its feet within the technological community.

Today, the opposite is true. Cloud computing has permeated almost every industry in unimaginable ways, and is swiftly changing the face of data centres, business processes and digital communications across the globe.

Now that the cloud has established itself as a major force within the commercial environment and indeed the daily lives of millions of technology users, we are beginning to investigate new frontiers which have been enabled by this momentous paradigm shift in modern computing.

The realm of electronic communications is one which has certainly been influenced by the capabilities of the cloud. Today, many prominent organisations offer email security and archiving solutions which host client data at remote locations, leveraging new technological aptitudes to offer pioneering solutions such as easily accessible data storage and the uninterrupted delivery of communication.

Now that we are able to host massive amounts of corporate material in data centres throughout the world, how are we harnessing the insights this information could potentially deliver?

Imagine, if you will, a platform which flags and presents information which is relevant to your communication from the email archive as you type a message? This would certainly enhance employee understanding of the work at hand while simultaneously avoiding the duplication of content which has already been forwarded by a colleague.

Better still, what if a cloud-based email infrastructure was able to detect patterns of fraud or illegal behaviour within large organisations or financial institutions? This capability would surely re-establish consumer trust within the international financial sector and contribute towards the prevention of future global crises.

These examples encapsulate the spirit of what Mimecast calls Interactive Archiving and signal a departure from established attitudes which regard the email archive as little more than a repository where data goes to die. Traditionally, information is only retrieved from these storehouses of information in the event of a disaster, or other uncommon event.

Despite this, they hold valuable insights which have the potential to fundamentally change the way knowledge workers relate to their day to day tasks. By unlocking this potential, executives could gain a much deeper understanding of developments within the organisation, in a safe and secure manner.

Interactive Archiving is the first step on a road which will lead to Mimecast’s vision of ‚’Information Banking’ – in which the archive no longer acts as a storage facility for data but rather becomes a conduit for insights into business trends.

The truth is that this technology is just around the bend. By developing niche applications which harness the power of cloud-based email archives, organisations can enhance internal governance and practices, as well as benefit from the advantages associated with the adoption of ground-breaking innovation.

Furthermore, this could usher in the re-emergence of trust in corporate email infrastructures. In doing so, organisations will begin to feel more in control of electronic communications, empowering this technology to become a more dependable and useful part of the business as a whole.

We all know that cloud computing is here to stay. Its on-going value will be proven by how we choose to apply it to new opportunities and challenges within the workplace. Interactive Archiving is just the next chapter in the illustrious and exciting tale of innovation and growth within the email environment.

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