The legal industry is hungry for guidance on how to deal with the explosion in cloud-based applications and new data types that are creating headaches for organizations of all sizes. While the threat of big data has cast a shadow over IT and legal departments for several years, the real challenge is proving to be the variety of data, and it is quickly defeating traditional collection and review tools and strategies.
When e-discovery kicks off for an investigation or litigation, it is now more difficult to assemble the new data with "old" data from traditional email and corporate data stores. Effective e-discovery requires the ability to easily and quickly gather all forms of data to understand the bigger picture. As organizations grow more global, mobile and collaborative, more critical interactions are taking place in these new channels. In a recent article in The Corporate Counselor, JR Jenkins and I provided some insight for how corporations can begin to address these issues.
The steps we covered in the article included:
- Developing Defensible Policies: The combination of today’s new technical diversity alongside workplace changes creates a concerning lack of corporate control over company data. Foremost, a corporation needs to have a comprehensive acceptable use policy in place that specifically addresses social media, mobile device and networking application use.
- Building a Holistic Approach: It is important to have the ability to take the underlying data from all communication sources and view it in the context in which it was created. From there, a path forward must be created through a holistic approach involving the right people and technology.
- Establishing Repeatable Processes: The most important step is creating a standardized and predictable process for collecting critical information. An established workflow allows the legal team to quickly act when an issue arises, regardless of the size of the matter or how the internal data universe has evolved.
The next "big-thing" app – that no one has heard of, but everyone will be using in six months - is just getting started today, which makes it nearly impossible for organizations to get their digital hands and policies around the endless stream of data types. Still, creation and use of data are the lifeblood of corporations, and require fluid collection and review processes that can grow and change alongside the landscape. While many in the legal and compliance world continue to be overwhelmed by app culture, there is an opportunity to leverage all the knowledge that resides within those repositories and begin to establish greater control. To read the full article, including a real world example of how one of FTI’s clients solved some of these challenges, visit The Corporate Counselor.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.