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Foundational eDiscovery

Legal concentrates on the review stage of eDiscovery with good reason. But if collected data was badly searched and poorly preserved, then the review process - and the reviewers - will suffer for it.

"Garbage in, garbage out." The saying applies to watching dicey television shows, but it also applies to poor eDiscovery practices. Legal concentrates on the review stage of eDiscovery with good reason. But if collected data was badly searched and poorly preserved, then the review process - and the reviewers - will suffer for it.

What does it take to change it? It takes understanding that early EDRM stages are crucial to a successful eDiscovery process. And it takes working with IT to build this strong foundation. I'm certainly not saying that attorneys should take over IT tasks (perish the thought), but by working closely together, each business unit can understand the other's needs and capabilities. Legal communicates their eDiscovery needs for short time cycle, thorough search, and auditable preservation. IT communicates the large scale of ESI and data sources that may be relevant to given matters. Together they choose the technology that enables a strong foundation of data retention, identification, collection and preservation - those processes that enable and protect the later eDiscovery stages.

This foundational approach is best done proactively so teams can carefully choose their optimum technology. But even in reactive situations, if the teams know what they need - large-scale visibility into ESI - then even the reactive purchase can hit the mark. The right technology will manage ESI so that it remains efficient, visible, highly searchable, and protected.

I get that the change can be painful for both Legal and IT. But eDiscovery requirements have teeth in them, and the bite can be painful. Adopting foundational eDiscovery results in much improved ROI and significantly lowered risk. Look to vendors like StoredIQ and Guidance for this level of proactive eDiscovery technology.

Christine Taylor, an analyst with The Taneja Group, has more than a decade of experience in covering the IT and communications industries. She has written extensively on the role of technology in e-discovery, compliance and governance, and information management. View Full Bio
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