Configuring Policies

As a starting point to creating policies, you should review your existing email and records management policies. Then decide what kind of archiving policies you need to address the long-term records retention and records management needs of your organization. Policies should take into account industry best practices. The following are examples of policies to define within your organization:

  • Email Usage Policy: An email usage policy includes code of conduct, system usage guidelines, and an email confidentiality clause.
  • Email Retention Policy: An organizational policy that identifies the retention and deletion requirements for email within the organization. If end users are given the ability to delete messages, then the policy should provide a clear definition as to what constitutes a business record and what constitutes a transitory record that can be deleted.
  • Email Deletion Policy: A policy that is crucial to an organization unless you plan to keep information in perpetuity. An email deletion policy takes into account that you will need to delete information when it is no longer valuable or when the regulatory requirements have been met. Your deletion policy should take into consideration all forms of email messages, including corporately archived messages, privately archived messages, and backups of messages.
  • Email Archiving Policy: A policy that is critical when defining the expectations and procedures for retaining and storing electronic messages within the organization. While it is an operational policy, it should take into consideration what data will be stored in your primary messaging systems, what data will be stored on online archive systems, and what data will be stored on near-online or offline systems.

For an example of a complete policy—see Sample Policy.

Differences between Policies and Jobs

A policy is a guideline and a job is the action that enforces it. You can apply a single policy to different jobs on a regular basis, including archive jobs, Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) jobs, and export jobs. Therefore, when setting a policy, it is important to keep in mind the job you will execute with it. Policies and jobs exist independently of each other. You cannot execute a job without having a policy to guide it.