Rather than trying to make predictions for 2012, which I tend to avoid, I thought it might be interesting to put together a short wish list of things that I hope for in 2012. The usual suspects immediately sprang to mind: that Legal and IT learn to effectively communicate; companies begin to defensibly delete their stale and legacy data, more eDiscovery moves in-house, etc. Those all seemed to be a little much to absorb in January, so instead I put together a much more achievable “To Do” list with some additional resources to help.
Don’t Be Scared Of “Archiving”
Despite surveys suggesting otherwise, our experience is that email remains the most important and painful eDiscovery repository in a company. Email sprawl also creates operational costs and risks when it’s not properly managed. Yet many legal departments either block or fail to assist the efforts of their IT counterparts when they decide to do something about email. Many times, this failure is because they really do not understand email, or their understanding of an “archive” implies that they will be keeping everything forever.
In reality, modern archives enable companies to implement and enforce retention policies on email, which is a strong foundation to enable defensible deletion of email. Better archives can also enable similar management of other content repositories, such as Sharepoint and fileshares. A good archive, with associated policies, will improve and reduce the cost of operations, and make eDiscovery cheaper and easier.
- Advanced Discovery, Why (and How) To Archive Email
- EMC Corporation, A 15 Minute Guide To Archiving
Dive Into Machine Classification and Coding
Machine-based coding for document review is a hot topic. We’re learning that in many cases, people just do not do a great job in reviewing and coding large volumes of information. However, machines are built for this type of work because they are consistent, never tire and are cheaper than human review. An open and shut case, right?
In reality, there remains a misunderstanding about how these technologies actually work, and how they can be successfully deployed and defended in a litigation matter. Clearly they hold great promise, but there’s a lot of work to be done before they become mainstream.
- Honorable A. Peck, “Search, Forward”
- Ralph Losey, “Secrets of Search Part 3”
- Maura Grossman & Gordon Cormack, Technology Assisted Review in EDiscovery
Be Proactive With Social Media
Many companies are using different types of “social media” to more effectively and rapidly reach their customers, partners and even their own employees. Technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, wikis and blogs are being used daily, and it’s likely we’ll see some even newer technologies develop in 2012.
Yet social media is not a free ride. Gartner’s Debra Logan predicted a year ago that by YE 2013, half of all companies will have produced social media content in response to an eDiscovery request. But today, most companies do not have policies to regulate social media content, nor do they have much of an idea on how they might preserve and collect that ESI in response to a regulatory or litigation matter.
- Alitia Faccone, It’s Not Personal, It’s Business: Or Is It?
- On Demand Webinar, No Longer A World Apart
Understand “The Cloud”
Ahhh, the Cloud. Depending on your vantage point, Cloud Computing may be the answer to every issue you have or the most overhyped idea since push computing in the 90s. The IT department is attracted to the cloud’s operational efficiencies and flexibility, and the business enjoys the rapid rate of deployment.
But don’t dive in without being informed. “Cloud Computing” is actually an umbrella term representing a number of different deployment and service models. Operational and cost benefits found with cloud computing should be weighed against the loss of control that comes with those deployments. In some cases, that’s an easy trade-off. In others, particularly where compliance is concerned, it can be more difficult. Even in tougher cases, better informed teams might be able to get the best of both worlds by leveraging private or hybrid cloud deployments.