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E-discovery Stakeholders and the Integrated Platform

I introduced the idea of multiple corporate stakeholders for e-discovery in "Leveraging the Left: The Role of Collection in High ROI." These groups -- Legal, Compliance, and IT -- share similar pressures on the data acquisition and management side of e-discovery.

Legal: E-discovery. One of the thorniest problems that companies face today is costly litigation discovery. With e-discovery requirements increasing, legal must search multiple servers, networked storage and workstations for data matching discovery parameters. And they have to issue workable litigation holds on terabytes worth of discoverable data. Late "early" case assessment (ECA), poor holds, overwhelming size of review data, and poorly defined search terms combine to make e-discovery a nightmare of complexity and risk.

GRC: Compliance and risk management. GRC (governance, risk and compliance) officers are responsible for protecting high-value information that might be scattered across the organization. Even if they centralize sensitive data in secure repositories, they first have to find the data and move it. And they hope they don't have to do this fast in response to an internal or external investigation.

IT: Retention management. IT is responsible for supporting Legal and GRC with their data search and retention needs. They are also responsible for managing storage for cost savings and data retention schedules. However, it is extremely challenging (impossible really) to manually manage data lifecycles across the enterprise. Meanwhile, data is kept long past its retirement date, primary storage is bloated with inactive files, storage purchases and energy costs rise, and no one can find data across multi-vendor and dispersed storage locations.

It is clearly in the enterprise's best interests to control costs related to e-discovery, GRC, and storage management. These may be distinct business processes, but they all depend on the same universe of stored data, most of it unstructured. An integrated platform can help control costs by searching and presenting the right data to the requesting process.

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