Most organizations today are storing information digitally, but they may not be ready to respond to litigation. If the right processes and technologies are not in place, a company can experience havoc in the event of an investigation or audit.
That is where eDiscovery (electronic discovery) comes in. eDiscovery is the exchange of electronic information pertaining to the discovery phase of litigation. During eDiscovery, a digital forensics analysis is conducted to acquire evidence. This is why it is essential to have an eDiscovery solution. An eDiscover implementation enables electronic data to be properly classified, accessed, searched, retained, retrieved, and produced. When a company needs to gather information for a case or counsel comes in to collect data, they need to do more than simply search for data. The entire organization has to be aligned properly to respond—and do so in the required timeframe to ensure compliance.
What’s involved in the eDiscovery process?
During the eDiscovery process, a wide range of data can be searched to extract information including audio files, photographs, animation, software, email, and online documents. Many companies are able to conduct basic searches, but their process and/or technology does not allow for different sectors of the business to promptly respond in a united manner. If a process is not in place for the organization to respond with the proper due diligence, the case could drag on, draining valuable internal resources and raising costs.
When I collaborate with a company to evaluate and/or deploy an eDiscovery solution, I help them search for data, place holds on the data and produce the data. But that is not all. It is important to classify types of legal matters, determine risks and ensure that representatives from all business departments can work together to ensure complete compliance. Sometimes I use a readiness assessment to help a company evaluate its ability to respond to litigation, or risk modeling to assist in pinpointing areas of vulnerability. Once the organization can get a clear picture of what it needs to do, we can deploy the right tool and or processes. Sometimes it is just a matter of helping an organization better utilize its existing eDiscovery platform—other times, it is a complete solution overhaul. But with the right systems and processes in place, companies can be confident they are equipped to deal with any legal matter.
The danger of a poor eDiscovery solution
If your company is only responding to litigation with a search tool and does not take a proactive approach to creating the right response process, that can cause operational inefficiencies, regulatory risks—and even threaten the reputation of the organization. Without a proper eDiscovery solution in place, it could also cost big—according to Gartner Research, the average cost of a single eDiscovery project is over $1 million.
Is your eDiscovery solution working for your company or against it?