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IMs: Do You Have a Corporate Policy?

January 18, 2008

We hope that every organization knows by now that email management and archiving are important parts of an effective IT and communications strategy. What might not be so clear to some, however, is the importance of a similar strategy for instant messages (IMs). The folks at EmailTide picked up on this in a recent entry discussing how IMs have become a “mission-critical application in the enterprise.”

Blogger Stefan Mehlhorn writes that the growing usage of IM “puts pressure on corporate IT to manage IM just like any other mission-critical application in the enterprise.” IMs bring a new challenge to IT professionals and records managers and there’s increasing attention on how IMs should be treated for legal and compliance purposes. Tim Carroll, a partner at the law firm Vedder Price and a member of Surety’s advisory board, wrote a though provoking article last year for Metropolitan Corporate Counsel on whether IMs are electronically stored information (ESI). We expect to see more discussion around this issue as people create more detailed IM policies for their organizations and we’d love to hear any of your best practices for IM management.

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