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4 Critical Aspects to eDiscovery Readiness

by on August 17, 2011

Increasingly, IT has partial—if not full responsibility—for the collection and preservation of data for eDiscovery purposes. Once the sole domain of the corporate legal department, eDiscovery now requires more efficient and effective means to sift through more data housed in multiple applications, systems, locations and storage media—clearly the purview of IT. So, with the eDiscovery ball in your court, how can you make your organization’s eDiscovery preparedness efforts a success?

Computer_gavel

Experts advise following these best practices when it comes to managing eDiscovery, and our own experience implementing eDiscovery tools for our clients has proven these same guidelines to be critical:

  1. Start now, and start with process
    Don’t wait for the subpoena. As with any business process, the right policies and processes—particularly an active data retention policy—must be in place before you implement a tool to automate your workflow, according to CMS Wire. Work with legal to get the right eDiscovery processes and policies first and then implement technology to support them.
  2. Integrate it
    “The eDiscovery product should integrate with existing information management technology,” says Christine Taylor of the Taneja Group—advice seconded by yours truly. You want a solution that easily integrates with your existing storage management platform.
  3. Feel a need for speed
    When it comes to meeting eDiscovery deadlines, speed is the name of the game. Find a solution that centralizes data, allows for quick searching and finds the right data first, eliminating random searches and tape restores in favor of more organized searches of smaller data sets.
  4. Ensure data integrity
    Also according to Taylor’s report, one of IT’s key responsibilities in eDiscovery is to preserve data to maintain “legal defensibility”—that is, to ensure that the organization can demonstrate it’s done everything in its power to keep collected data intact and protect it from being altered, damaged or destroyed. Maintaining data backups on tape and implementing a solution for efficiently locating and collecting this data will help ensure you can meet this requirement.

The bottom line is, well, your bottom line. It’s now up to you to ensure that your firm can respond to eDiscovery requests quickly enough to avoid expensive court sanctions. How prepared is your organization for its next eDiscovery request?

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