E-mail trauma goes beyond spam, survey concludes

E-mail trauma goes beyond spam, survey concludes

Thirty-four percent of CIOs consider an e-mail outage more traumatic than a car accident or a divorce, according to the findings of a new survey of IT chiefs from around the globe.

Almost half the respondents said they had difficulty retrieving specific e-mail from backup media, said Jeremy Burton, senior vice president of Veritas Software Corp. The Mountain View, Calif., company commissioned the survey from market researcher Dynamic Markets Ltd. of Abergavenny, Wales.

IT staff especially consider Microsoft Exchange Server uptime to be mission-critical because their bosses 'aren't happy if they can't push e-mail around,' Burton said.

E-mail has nearly supplanted the telephone in executives' day-to-day work, he said.

Burton and Veritas' government vice president, Paul Smith, both said they no longer check their voice mail messages. 'My secretary listens and then e-mails the list to me' on a mobile device, Burton said.

E-mail backup and retrieval have become a headache in large Exchange Server environments, the Veritas research found. Only 18 percent of organizations can recover deleted messages more than a year old, according to the survey respondents; 30 percent can recover back one month; and 11 percent can recover only e-mail from the previous week.

Four percent of IT managers who participated in the survey said it takes them less than an hour to restore service after an unplanned outage, 15 percent said an hour and 41 percent said more than an hour. Nine percent said it takes them 24 hours or longer, and a fifth of the whole group said their jobs would be on the line if an outage lasted that long.

(Corrected 1:25 p.m. July 22, 2003)

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