I read an interesting article on NorthJersey.com in early April. The borough of Englewood Cliffs is suing its former IT company, claiming the owner failed to handle archived emails properly when it moved to the cloud. The borough started working with the IT company in 2012, but it seems some things were not handled properly after ten years.
Aside from the missing emails, the IT company was accused of negligence regarding the police department’s network security. The suit also accused the IT company of permitting old computers, and running obsolete software in the municipal building and the police department.
The borough has a new IT provider, having fired the old one in February 2021. After I read the article, I went to the old IT company’s website. I guess the owner didn’t want any further contact with the outside world while this lawsuit plays out because it no longer appears.
The situation that has the mayor upset is missing emails from three town council members from a specific time in 2019 when there was some rancorous debate about the 700 Sylvan Avenue property (Unilever’s building). But how can that be? There should have been back-ups from that time still available if the IT company used “infinite retention,” which is what I would have done for a borough and mayor that has proven to be highly litigious. And if those backups weren’t available, there should have been the email server’s stand-alone backup before the migration to Office 365. Either one would be able to provide any (or all the) missing correspondence. Of course, if the IT company didn’t use a trusted third-party vendor to perform the migration (there are less than a handful who are truly skilled at this), then I guess…
Because reputation is everything in this business, I don’t know how the IT company’s other clients will react to the lawsuit. I know that simply trying to explain the circumstances – if he’s even allowed to – will occupy the owner’s time for months, or possibly years, to come. Now, if any of those clients need someone to take a second look at their network and computer systems, I stand ready to see what is – or isn’t – being done to provide the best, most affordable monitoring, security, and backup solutions. (I’m looking at you, the borough of Leonia, because you engaged with this IT company too.)