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Email's role in Records and Information Management (RIM) Compliance

1 February, 2022

As you’re already probably aware, email is a huge source of information and records for businesses. This information is the lifeblood of project and client work. And to be completely Records and Information Management (RIM) compliant, you need to ensure that you’re using the right software to control your recordkeeping appropriately 

Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t give users an easy solution for transferring email messages into SharePoint from Outlook. Luckily for you, several solutions like Mail Manager allow you to work on SharePoint without leaving Outlook, making it easy to search for emails and information and find documents in SharePoint from within the Outlook interface.  

At Mail Manager, we are firm believers in supporting businesses in their information governance journey, and without RIM compliance, there cannot be information governance. 

How can you benefit from RIM compliance?

By putting RIM compliance at the forefront of your overarching information governance strategy, businesses receive benefits including: 

  • Minimised risk of disputes: a common cause of legal disputes is poor recordkeeping and information mismanagement. Missing information is one of the leading causes of disputes in the AEC industry and costs companies $62 million every year. 

  • Lower legal costs: when you’re able to find the emails you need when you need them, you’re far less likely to need to hire external professionals or lawyers to help find this information. 

  • Spend less on storage: when your records are organised and concise, businesses can significantly reduce their storage costs as they no longer have masses of duplicated emails. 

  • Improved compliance: by taking ownership of RIM compliance, your business will be able to stay up to date with ISO standards or any other legislative and regulatory requirements for your industry. 

  • Find information easily: proper email and records management means that anyone in a business related to a project or client can find the correspondence or information they need when they need it. At Mail Manager, we pride ourselves that our customers can find any email within three clicks. 

How does RIM compliance fit into email management?

There are four minimum requirements for email recordkeeping in RIM compliance: qualification, declaration, classification and reduction.  

  • Qualification: All inbound and outbound business-critical emails related to a project or client should be identified as records. Personal emails that do not have any business value should be separated. 

  • Declaration: Any email that gets qualified as a record should be declared (managed). This means that it should be classified against the retention schedule, should you have industry regulations stipulating data retention, or be locked to prevent editing or deletion by other users. 

  • Classification: The number of emails that have been declared needs to exceed a minimum threshold required for legal defensibility should a dispute arise in the future. 

  • Reduction: Any unnecessary, duplicated or outdated emails should be deleted. 

Particularly for project and client businesses like accounting, environmental services, and AEC firms, emails and their information (including attachments) are usually important records. Following most definitions, any email would be considered a record if it was created, received and maintained as evidence or information by a business, as a defence in a legal matter or a business transaction. 

So essentially, any information that is vital to a project, like a scope change in construction or drawing updates in engineering, is a business record. For businesses like legal services firms, the percentage of emails that should be managed as records would be much higher than those for other industries like education. 

By using intelligent email filing into SharePoint to your advantage, businesses can ensure they stay RIM compliant and protect themselves from key email mismanagement risks we see every day. Once your emails are saved into SharePoint, you can assign them an official retention period based on your industry or business’ retention requirements. 

Where can you start?

By incorporating Mail Manager into your overall RIM compliance, everyone wins. We've put together a new asset to help you on your RIM compliance journey that you can download free today.

For more information on how you can reap the benefits from RIM compliance in your organisation, reach out to the Mail Manager team, or download a 15-day free trial to see how quickly you can manage your emails better. 



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