In IT terms, five years is a lifetime.

Closeup of bar graph on LCD screen showing increased performance.

In the last five years I’ve gone from covering enterprise archiving as an analyst at Gartner to archive product marketing at Mimecast. During that time, Mimecast has continued its five-year streak as a Leader in the enterprise information archiving (EIA) market. This feat requires a continued commitment to innovation – analytics of metadata and the use of machine learning are growing in the EIA space – as well as a continued commitment to customers’ trust. With evolution in these two areas, industry experts anticipate more growth, especially as unregulated industries catch up to regulated ones such as financial services and healthcare.

In fact, in its recent Magic Quadrant, Gartner notes that by 2023, 45 percent of enterprise customers will adopt an EIA solution to meet new requirements driven by data privacy regulations; this is a major increase from five percent in 2019.

Growth in email archive

Where is this growth coming from, and what are some of the trends and changes we have seen in our space?

  • There are fewer Leaders and vendors overall. Since 2015, vendors unwilling or unable to continue to innovate, invest and expand the vision of the archiving market have now reached less desirable positions in the Magic Quadrant. What’s more, a number of vendors have been acquired since 2015. Some of this has been in search of functionality and segment expansion and some of it has been just maintenance-based acquisition.
  • The shift to cloud has expanded archiving potential. The archiving world in 2015 was not cloud-averse, but there was still very high demand for on premises archives. Microsoft Office was first released in 2013 and starting to gain steam, and in 2015, the accelerating move towards Exchange Online also heralded Mimecast’s arrival in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Today, organizations are hard-pressed to make the case for investment in the mostly legacy on premises archiving options still left today. And as organizations move to the cloud for communications and productivity needs, they reexamine their previous investments in on premises archives and the state of their supplier portfolio.
  • Information governance has become a primary driver. In the past, the decision to archive was often driven by the need to reduce on premises email server storage requirements, in addition to information governance needs like e-discovery, compliance and records management. With the move to the cloud, storage savings are still important, but it’s no longer the primary driver. With greater litigation, compliance and privacy concerns across the globe, and a greater focus on data security here in the U.S., information governance now takes the top spot as the primary driver.
  • Application features have become paramount to buying. As information governance requirements have become more stringent, the nature of archiving requirements has changed vastly. In past years, archiving fell under the consideration of infrastructure buyers and was another form of storage. Buyers were focused on the size of the data the vendor had under management and the underlying architecture of their offering. Those are still very important considerations, however, as areas like e-discovery, compliance supervision or privacy laws such as GDPR or the CCPA have risen in importance, buyers are more interested in application features - how intuitive the offering is to navigate, granular sub features, expanded search offerings, dashboards, reports and more. This is a key reason several vendors have faced challenges - it’s very difficult for an infrastructure vendor to become an application specialist!

What success looks like for archiving in the future

Technology never sits still. To be successful in the long term, you have to continue to innovate by supporting multiple content types, feature-rich governance applications, vertical solutions such as supervision and SEC 17a-4 compliance, scalable cloud infrastructure and finally, analytics to take advantage of archived business data for governance and productivity use cases.

Customer experience and trust have to be just as important as those technical capabilities. The best archiving company will be the one that provides the best value for investment - capable of addressing a wide array of business challenges and making its users more productive and engaged at their jobs, whether it’s in IT, legal, compliance, or human resources. And on top of that, because of archiving’s long-term nature, Leaders must provide a relationship based on trust, being the best company to partner with and do business, recognizing that there are other choices in the marketplace. Read more about email archive, and how Gartner defines the market.

 

 

 

 

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