Uncharted Territory: ESI Expansion and E-Discovery

Uncharted Territory: ESI Expansion and E-Discovery

Ping, ding, beep! Text messages, social media posts and data from Internet of Things devices are increasing exponentially. Users aren’t the only ones often struggling to keep up — business and IT leaders are also having a difficult time as they try to comply with e-discovery requests.

According to a Campus Technology article, which cited an Osterman Research report, and a 2016 survey, the days of handing over email copies to meet e-discovery requests are long gone. Survey respondents revealed how uneasy the rise in data makes them.

For example, the report stated that six in 10 managers are “somewhat worried” that their organization could be sued, and four in 10 anticipated an increase in the number of e-discovery requests in the next 12 months.

The 2016 survey revealed that organizations stored a mean of 49.3 gigabytes of e-mail data per user, which could increase to 133 gigabytes by 2022. The survey also revealed that while 80 percent of respondents felt “well prepared” or “very well prepared” to retain, find and produce email up to a month old, the percentage plummeted to 20 percent for content in the cloud, 18 percent for instant messages and 12 percent for online applications.

The report also focused on the cloud’s impact on e-discovery. E-discovery capabilities need to adapt to the location of the content and cloud limitations (ex: search speed). Increasingly, more cloud vendors are adapting by offering their clients archiving and other similar features to make this shift easier for their clients.

The report also offered best practices — among them three “basic principles” for decision-makers: retain only what’s necessary, be prepared to “rapidly identify suspect or non-compliant content” and manage content to minimize risk.

Just as the days of handing over email copies are over, so, too, is “cobbling together manual processes and calling it a ‘compliance program,’” said the Osterman Research founder, Michael Osterman, per Campus Technology. He also stated:

“So, business and IT leaders would be well advised to immediately take a proactive approach to their e-discovery readiness and, in doing so, enable their firm to stay competitive, avoid the consequences of non-compliance and earn the trust and loyalty of clients.”

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