Firms are failing to implement effective e-mail policies to address compliance and potential litigation issues.
GFT inboxx, a provider of unified archiving solutions, commissioned research among 100 senior IT decision makers across the private sector, and e-mail policies were found wanting.
The survey revealed that 51% of businesses do not set retention times for e-mails and documents, including 40% for businesses in the financial services sector, which is heavily regulated.
In addition, 35% of CIOs and IT directors in the financial services sector do not see compliance as a key driver for e-mail management.
The survey also found that 97% of CIOs and IT directors have been required to search for old e-mails and attachments, but 61% found this to be an unacceptably time consuming and complicated process.
"It is interesting, given the current compliance climate, just how few businesses are exerting control over how long information is retained," said Juergen Obermann, CEO of GFT inboxx.
"This presents a series of questions: are these organisations turning a blind eye to regulations - and thereby failing to implement solutions to adapt to future requirements, or are these regulations merely hype and do not affect the broad sweep of organisations they suggest they do?"