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What Do You Do When the Fire Hits?

Go proactive with your eDiscovery purchases. Form interdisciplinary teams, vet eDiscovery vendors, and purchase the optimum tools you need to tame your litigation wildfire.

At 3:00 am last Sunday morning we were evacuated from our home due to a fast-moving forest fire. The house survived (my eternal gratitude to the firefighters) and we hope to return home today.

This scenario got me thinking. The percentages for a proactive vs. reactive eDiscovery deployment at a corporation are roughly 20/80. The 20% proactive percentage is the one you want to fall into. Best practice assumes an interdisciplinary team of IT and GC, with records managers and compliance officers also bringing valuable input. These teams should express their needs and challenges to each other and talk to eDiscovery vendors to find the best possible fit fpr their corporate environment.

It's the 80% reactive that can seem like my local wildfire. The scenario usually happens because a single case proves to be larger, more complex and more difficult than the corporation anticipated. Or they may have experienced a sudden and unexpected increase in multiple matters moving through the company. Either way, the corporation realizes that it needs some form of eDiscovery technology in order to quickly and accurately discover relevant data, to make some sort of informed decision about how to proceed, and to be able to review the results using a process that will stand up in court.

The thing is, this is a tall order. It's a good order: corporations that don't have eDiscovery technologies to serve these processes should adopt them. Now. But if the corporations are desperately trying to find something -- anything -- that's going to work, they're at risk for making big mistakes.

If you are reactive you are not alone, and most eDiscovery vendors -- particularly those at the left-hand side of the EDRM -- offer fast deployments to get you going in an urgent matter. So don't let an immediate need stop you from purchasing the eDiscovery technology you must have right now. But consider going proactive and forming those teams, vetting those vendors, and ending up with the optimum tools you need to tame your litigation wildfire. 

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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