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It warned that although the corporate e-mail system was now regarded as a business-critical application, since it was an integral part of other applications, it was often not treated in the same way as other business-critical systems.
"In our opinion, e-mail management is a mix of business strategy supported by technology," the report's author, Sue Clarke, senior research analyst at Butler Group warned.
She said a business may not be able to function if the e-mail system fails when it is integrated in business processes, or the e-mail client is used as the user interface of another application, or as a to-do list.
The report found that while organisations recognised the fact that compliance and lawsuits required the retention of e-mails, few companies realised that it also necessitates the ability to retrieve them.