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Source: Computer Technology Review
Author: Simon Taylor
Electronic discovery (eDiscovery) has become a front-and-center IT concern as increasing numbers of companies struggle to respond effectively and efficiently to legal actions. Earlier this year, a landmark court opinion issued by U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin significantly upped the ante for organizational responsibility to preserve data by imposing monetary penalties on 13 plaintiffs for negligence and gross negligence in failing to protect discoverable data.
This ruling, which outlines new contemporary standards for eDiscovery, has been characterized as a "wake-up call" to litigants. The decision also raises the bar for IT involvement in preserving electronically stored information (ESI), which has become incredibly complex due to the sheer volume of records that needs to be managed. Discoverable data has also at the same time grown to include emails, files, documents, backup and archive data, often across multiple sites and media and some times geographies. New social media formats, such as Facebook and Twitter, also now are considered part of ESI.
Evolving case law and growing regulatory pressures now force organizations to gain greater control of their data, fueling new investments in eDiscovery technologies. According to Gartner Group, spending on electronic discovery software and services will grow between 25 and 35 percent annually through 2012. Despite this uptake, many organizations are still grappling with budget constraints and therefore must focus on finding ways to improve eDiscovery readiness in response in increasing litigations without incurring huge IT and legal costs.
IT managers and system integrators can play pivotal roles in helping companies lower litigation costs, duration and risk by driving eDiscovery efficiencies and effectiveness through: