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Backup and Archiving – The Odd Couple?

At EMC, we have the opportunity to talk to customers like yourselves, about data protection and its key components backup and archiving. Customers commonly ask us about the differences and similarities of backup and archiving. They ask us, “I know I need backup, but do I also need archiving?”

Our friends at Enterprise Storage Group (ESG) also share this discussion with customers they speak with and not surprisingly, they share the same opinion about data protection as we do.

In this short six minute video, listen as Steve Duplessie talks about the importance of backup and archiving and how they complement each other. Together, backup and archiving are the “perfect couple”.

Justifying The Cost of eDiscovery

Jim Shook, Director, E-Discovery and Compliance Practice EMC Corp

Jim Shook, Director, E-Discovery and Compliance Practice EMC Corp

Most who have handled eDiscovery have a sense that with the right tools, bringing some (or all) of the eDiscovery process in-house will save money and cut risk.  However, that gut feeling is not enough if you are called to justify purchases to a board or steering committee – you need hard data.

If you have ever tried to put together an ROI Model for eDiscovery, you know that it can be a difficult process.  While stories abound about extraordinary costs, actual data about internal and external costs can be hard to find.  Even if you do have data, it’s difficult to build a model that matches your process and predicts how well the new process will work.  Worse still, because many companies still handle their eDiscovery with a lot of (usually unknown) risk, sometimes there is no apparent savings by bringing the work in-house – the change actually results in substantially cutting risk, not costs.  That’s even more difficult to model and justify.  (We have written about these challenges before and provided some helpful steps  you might consider when creating an ROI Model).

eDiscovery ROI calculatorTo make the process easier, our team has developed an easy-to-use “eDiscovery ROI Calculator”, which is now available for the iPad.  You input just a few variables – -the number of small, medium and large cases that you expect to see in a year, and the typical number of custodians for each.  We have preset the rest of the variables to what we consider to be industry standard amounts.  Don’t like our default values?  Change them all you want with the easy-to-use sliders (it’s actually kind of fun to manipulate the model).  In just a few minutes, you’ll get a good estimate of what it costs to handle those cases on an outsourcing basis, and what you might expect to save by bringing the process in-house.   (If you don’t have access to an iPad, we have flash-based versions of the tool available through our IG Account Management team).

Intrigued?  We are hosting a webcast next week with the smart folks from Enterprise Strategy Group.  It’s called “ESG Presents: Truly Realizing eDiscovery ROI” and you can sign up for free right here.  I’ll bet you get a fast ROI on that investment!

Guest Blog: Information Governance is in IT’s Best Interest

Guest Blogger: Brian Babineau Brian Babineau - Senior Consulting Analyst, ESG

We are excited to introduce this week’s Guest Blogger, Brian Babineau, Senior Consulting Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

I recently authored an ESG Research Brief “E-mail Archiving Supports IT’s Role in Electronic Discovery” where I highlighted the need for IT to invest in information management solutions that do more than just solve a “system administration” problem.  My thesis is straightforward – IT staff’s responsibilities now extend well beyond running systems.  They are now mired in business process, compliance, and litigation support procedures.  Consider that 67% of respondents in a recent ESG study said that IT was primary party responsible for collecting e-mails in response to an electronic discovery inquiry even though such an activity is part of a legal workflow.

The expansion of IT responsibilities into things like electronic discovery dictates the need for IT to change their strategies when looking for and evaluating information management solutions.  As I point out in the Research Brief, IT frequently takes a shortsighted tactical approach to information management without considering the long term consequences even if the repercussions make their jobs worse.  The most obvious example is using e-mail quotas – a tactic deployed to control storage costs.  While quotas do reduce the amount of storage a company needs to support an e-mail application, they decrease employee productivity (employees can spend hours every week deleting / moving / archiving messages to avoid triggering a quota) and make electronic discovery a nightmare as personal archive folders have to be tracked down across PCs, file shares and backup tapes.

According to 80% of organizations still use quotas, but many have figured out how to govern this process via purpose-built e-mail archive solutions.  When a quota is reached, messages are automatically moved into the purpose-built archive solution repository where they are still accessible to employees as well as compliance officers, records managers, and other authorized constituents.  This way when a discovery request arrives, IT only has to collect e-mails from the primary message application and the archive.  A purpose-built e-mail archive solution simplifies electronic discovery processes while reducing storage costs and automating other e-mail management tasks.

A purpose-built archive offering is just one example of an information management solution that delivers more than tradition system administration benefits.  There are many more out there – it just takes an IT department to more strategically think about governing information over the long term to find them.