Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

New E-Discovery Strategy: Manage your data before the lawsuit

Posted by rjbiii on September 19, 2008

Businesses have finally become impressed with the need to manage the data residing on their enterprises, and it appears that the straw breaking the camel’s back is…ta da…e-discovery:

But thanks to e-discovery risk and burgeoning data volumes — 20% to 50% compound annual growth rate for some companies — the tide is starting to turn, according to [John] Merryman. The average cost companies incur for electronic data discovery ranges from $1 million to $3 million per terabyte of data, according to Glasshouse. While you need to pay attention to retaining data, at the same time, “all indications are that you need to be keeping less,” Merryman says.

The cost of retrieving content from disorganized data universes existing on IT enterprises hits hard when a suit requires you to sort out the mess. No excuses are allowed, and procrastination is no longer possible. So what’s the answer?

One way to address this problem is to set retention policies that reduce exposure to legal problems. But don’t try to boil the ocean, Merryman advises. Instead, create policies from the application or business level down, rather than looking across the whole data landscape and letting policy bubble up. Also, create black-and-white rules that are easy to deal with.

E-discovery should not be quite the beast that it has turned out to be. Part of the reason for the current predicament is that data management hasn’t been a priority, even in the face of compliance requirements. Lawsuits, and the attendant scrutiny accompanying e-discovery projects, signal that judgment day approaches. Taming the enterprise goes a long way to taming the e-discovery burden.

One Response to “New E-Discovery Strategy: Manage your data before the lawsuit”

  1. Knowing e-discovery is inevitable, I argue an enterprise can use technology proactively to make its e-records more benign. It can broadcast intent to be lawful and a request that adversaries come forward as early as possible. What do you think? –Ben

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