3 Tips For Your E-Discovery Action Plan
E-discovery is key in building your “perfect world” archive.
Ever think about what would happen if you challenged the status quo of legacy compliance and e-discovery solutions and thought about your readiness plans more proactively? Would it mean:
- Less costly outsourcing?
- More time for your day job?
- Fewer cursing outbursts?
At Mimecast, we’ve been putting a lot of strategic thinking and investment behind what our customers tell us a “perfect world” archive looks like. We’ve heard loud and clear that the game of constantly reacting to litigation events is a risky one, not to mention expensive. Managing at least a part of the e-discovery process “in-house” for organizations of all sizes across the globe is trending up, contributing to healthy growth in the e-discovery market. According to IDC, "E-discovery software solutions have become increasingly more user-friendly with more integration capabilities and invisible analytics enabling e-discovery professionals to simply do their jobs better without having to understand all the technical aspects required in the past."1
With that said it’s a good time to reevaluate your e-discovery action plan, who’s involved and what’s at stake. Industry leading analyst, Gartner, offers valuable insights on this topic. We’ve partnered with them on “Strengthen E-Discovery Readiness to Reduce Cost and Risk,” new research we believe both IT and legal teams will find beneficial. Getting better control over your data and budget is the ultimate goal, especially when the clock is ticking. A good place to start is with three simple questions:
Who is responsible for e-discovery?
According to Gartner, “E-discovery readiness is an initiative that spans legal, IT and business stakeholder concerns and can also unify and align with archiving and data management strategies.”2 Educating cross-functional stakeholders across legal, IT, security and compliance will be required. Policy decisions should be made based on the legal, compliance and access requirements of relevant data. Start a dialogue about your organization’s risk profile as well as how you can team together to get more value from your information to enable real-time decision-making and help you determine your case strategy earlier in the litigation process.
What tools do I need for e-discovery?
Very few organizations, or vendors for that matter, can solve the entire end-to-end electronic discovery process as outlined by the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)3. Start with an integrated archive solution with purpose-built e-discovery features to simply get an edge on Early Case Assessments (ECAs). Specifically, addressing the identification, preservation and collection portions of the EDRM process with in-house tools. This leads to fewer outsourced costs down the line.
For example, a lack of information management across the enterprise leads to repository glut, translating to more time spent searching for potentially relevant content. The bottom line is that retaining data that is not subject to retention by law or to the running of the business can pose a huge cost liability in e-discovery. The last thing you want to do is pay an attorney by the hour to review duplicate or unresponsive data. The review portion is the single most expensive part of the EDRM process, accounting for up to 70% of total e-discovery costs.4 In-house archiving tools that offer retention, collection and first pass review should be positioned to bring immediate ROI back to your organization.
Where do I archive the data for e-discovery?
Organizations lacking a data map are often unaware of what content they have, who owns it and how many copies exist. With data being aggregated from email, attachment, files, social media and enterprise collaboration systems, it’s safe to say you need a smarter method to bring data under control. A cloud archive solution can also help you build a data map of all electronically-stored information sources, often the first step in performing ECAs. More importantly, it can contain retention and search into a secure, centralized repository to support long-term preservation, with infinite storage. This means your digital corporate memory is always intact and available at a moment’s notice.
One thing is certain: the cost and risk of e-discovery are directly related to how efficiently you and your employees manage your organization’s information. We know it’s difficult to evolve with today’s changing landscape and future-proof your e-discovery strategies against this new digital era. In a perfect world, this means looking at your e-discovery challenges more proactively to control cost and risk.