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Records Management and eDiscovery

Records management has always been painful but now it's nearly impossible given the unending growth in ESI. Since corporations are infamous for keeping every stick of data, we're looking at hundreds of terabytes of data just in the data center with many more hundreds of TBs on servers, SAN, NAS, tape, and workstations scattered throughout the enterprise. These terabyte-to-petabyte levels represent a lot of records to manage for multiple business needs including eDiscovery, compliance and data re

Records management has always been painful but now it's nearly impossible given the unending growth in ESI. Since corporations are infamous for keeping every stick of data, we're looking at hundreds of terabytes of data just in the data center with many more hundreds of TBs on servers, SAN, NAS, tape, and workstations scattered throughout the enterprise. These terabyte-to-petabyte levels represent a lot of records to manage for multiple business needs including eDiscovery, compliance and data retention.  

The overwhelming size of the data universe has made manual records management an impossible affair. For business processes like eDiscovery and compliance, the 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure severely shortened the time frame to meet eDiscovery requests and added to eDiscovery procedural burdens. Federal investigations and regulatory compliance are also increasing concerns in the executive suite.

The upshot is that companies have a lot of potentially relevant records that they must find fast to meet eDiscovery and investigatory demands. Companies used to be able to argue undue burden, but today's courts are increasingly rejecting that argument and holding companies accountable for protecting and producing relevant records.  (That's a pretty way of saying that judges are less inclined to cut complainers some slack. Sad but true.)

Disconnected data silos make large-scale data management and collection extraordinarily difficult. This is where ESI indexing and mapping come in handy. I spend a lot of time writing about analytics and review because that's where the eDiscovery financial pain point is. But I always stress that good records management policies have to include index/collection/mapping software that lets you do it in the first place. StoredIQ and Exterro are good in this sector with their ability to locate and act on records for business processes. Another good entrant is B&L Associates, whose ADM centrally indexes and manage backup/archival for data management, eDiscovery and compliance.

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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