Companies across the board are realizing the critical importance of e-mail governance.

The term is understood to mean the creation and implementation of corporate policies and processes around the use of e-mail.

Experts note that such policies and processes are crucial especially as laws and regulations around e-discovery and privacy get increasingly stringent.

The phenomenal growth of e-mail communication over the past decade is something many companies did not anticipate, and were unable to prepare for.

Experts attribute the absence of effective e-mail governance policies in many companies to this lack of preparation.

“E-mail architecture and systems have grown organically,” notes Robert Pease, vice-president, marketing at MessageGate, Inc., a Bellevue, Wash.-based software vendor, specializing in corporate e-mail governance. The company’s products are aimed at promoting effective e-mail use, and helping end users cope with threats, improving archival and retrieval activities — and overall e-mail governance.

These capabilities could prevent public embarrassment if