The volume and value of data within database systems seems to be growing by byte leaps and bounds. So when you receive a data request, who’s your first contact: your IT department, a third-party provider or both? We outline advantages and advice as offered by Joe Sremack — a Principal in Berkeley Research Group’s Technology Solutions practice.
Mr. Sremack’s article “Who Should Perform Collection, IT Department or Third Party?” appeared in Today’s General Counsel earlier this summer. As he advises, responding efficiently and effectively to a data request is dependent upon who will perform the information collection. Also, a database collection differs greatly from a traditional e-discovery collection because of the volume of data and the systems they are mined from.
He asserts that there are advantages to calling upon the in-house IT department or reaching out to a third-party provider. The former has the expertise and may be the most efficient, cost-effective resource, while the latter may have more expertise on the required collection processes.
“Collecting from database systems involves a careful process of properly identifying the appropriate data — including offline and backup data — documenting the entire process, and being able to address questions about objectivity and chain of custody.”
Additional third-party provider advantages include its intimate collection knowledge and independence from a client’s organization.
According to Mr. Sremack, in order for counsel to determine whether to seek internal or external expertise or both, he or she should review the data collection requirements and identify the collection scope and the associated effort and cost.
If one can accurately assess this, then using the IT department may be appropriate. Can’t do so or “have questions about whether the process will be defensible and correct”? Then counsel may want to consider utilizing a third-party provider. A hybrid approach is also possible.
Bottom line according to Mr. Sremack and his informative article:
“You need to thoroughly understand your IT department’s capabilities before you can make an informed decision about who should perform the collection.”
Do you have a database collection comment about your own experience with internal versus external resources? We welcome hearing it below.