More companies are looking for automated tools that can help them avoid the costly manual labor involved in reviewing files that need to be turned over during litigation. Several vendors offer full-fledged e-discovery systems that search out all files, index and classify them, preserve them, and present them in a way that makes it much easier for lawyers to determine which ones need to be turned over. Other vendors are beginning to add some of these capabilities to their products.
Email archiving specialist Mimosa Systems Inc. today introduced the Retention and Classification Option to its NearPoint archiving system, which it says will let businesses reduce or eliminate the need for manual classification of content. The software lets companies set rules and policies to analyze information within emails, attachments, files, and other content, and paste tags on that content. The tags can be used to set retention policies and later, once a company is hit with a lawsuit, make it easier to find relevant files.
These capabilities can be valuable for companies in this era where lawsuits are filed every day for any reason, and businesses are spending more to avoid costly manual processes. Businesses and other organizations spent more than $2.7 billion on electronic data discovery last year, and spending on EDD will grow to more than $4.6 billion by 2010, according to consultants George Socha and Tom Gelbmann, who presented their findings in a report published earlier this year on Law.com.
The market is getting crowded, with vendors like Kazeon Systems Inc. , StoredIQ Corp. , Autonomy Corp. , Guidance Software Inc. , and others offering specific e-discovery products or those capabilities in larger suites.
One challenge is to know what to keep, before the legal papers start flying. Scott Whitney, vice president of product management at Mimosa, notes that "not all email is created equal" and you don't want to keep all of your email archive in Tier 1 storage. But, he says, you need to know what is inside the email and files before you can decide what to do with it and where to store it.