Thousands of regulations set in place over the past few years require organizations to retain their electronically stored information for compliance reasons. While some of this information is located in centralized data stores and is easily accessible, research reveals that a large portion of this information is not centrally stored. According to the whitepaper, “Solving PST Management Problems in Microsoft Exchange Environments,” published by Osterman Research, 75% of information that email users need to do their jobs is stored in email, making PST files and other message stores an important source of corporate data, and an information management priority.

While organizations understand that PST file management is a necessity, managing these files is not an easy task, as PST files present organizations with a variety of challenges. These challenges include:

PST data is not easily accessible: PST files are located on desktops, file servers, and laptop machines. IT staff may be able to locate and search PST files to collect this information; however, they must search through all of these locations, and have no way of knowing if they have found all of the local PST files. This proves to be a long and tedious process, and unfortunately may be non-comprehensive.

Enforcing corporate data retention and deletion policies are difficult: If information is not centrally stored, the IT staff is unable to monitor activity. Employees are able to delete information without IT staff knowing, and there is no record indicating that this data ever existed.

Data compression is not automatic: PST files are insufficient storage depositories and need to be compacted to maximize storage value. PST compression is not done automatically and relying on manual methods to compress pst files requires time and will not provide the maximum level of compression.

Organizations lack information about their infrastructure: Organizations using only native Exchange tools are not provided with information about PST files.   Therefore, they are unsure as to where they are located, the types of data they contain, and how much compaction they require.

Non-corporate data adds to storage requirements:   Backup applications backup all information stored in PST files, including non-corporate information. This additional information adds to the load on the backup application.

Until PST files are managed, organizations will continue to lose corporate information, and potentially fail to comply with regulations. Native Exchange tools do not have the capability of successfully and comprehensively managing these files and therefore relying solely on these PST tools may be putting your organization at risk.

To read more about PSTs and the challenges they present read “Solving PST Management Problems in Microsoft Exchange Environments”:

To learn more about Sherpa Software’s email management solutions including their PST tools and how they can help overcome information management challenges visit: