Use Enterprise Information Management Principles for Litigation Readiness and Early Case Assessment

Posted on December 30, 2009


Why prepared organizations are more successful organizations!

 The fall-out of the credit crisis has had a significant impact on the Information Technology (IT) landscape, and even more specifically a dramatic impact on compliance, risk, e-discovery and records management requirements. These technology-based requirements, also known as Enterprise Information Management, impact every type and size public sector and commercial organization today.

 Managing and controlling electronically stored information is a matter of technology, but also of strict procedures, quality control and well documented information management activities. It has become one of the most serious sources of legal exposure and risk. There are several key questions an organization must consider in today’s business climate. Is your organization prepared to respond to an e-discovery demand imposed by regulators, civil parties or a competitor? Is your organization able to find and produce all relevant documents? If so, at what price and how fast?

 More and more organizations are now understanding the importance of not waiting for an electronic information request. They actively audit, monitor and police their organization to enforce ongoing compliance and take immediate action when needed in order to avoid expensive legal proceedings. Therefore, in terms of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), there is a great need for fully integrated solutions for information management, identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis and production.

Records Management and Digital Archiving

Early case assessment, litigation readiness and compliance

 Advanced search, text-analytics technology, classification and categorization can be used to reduce costs and risk in the e-discovery process for unstructured data, but eventually authentic records management solutions for e-mail and other relevant content archives is the only real means to a successful end. Organizations must relearn the Art of Information Destruction and records management which will ultimately allow them to implement true Enterprise Information Management.

 Technology is essential to solving the enterprise information management problem, for example:

 (i)                 Information access technology solutions ideally help address today’s compliance, risk, e-discovery and early case assessment challenges, but organizations must implement the right tools – if there is something out there that is relevant to a case, it must be found! The best positioned tools are those that are optimized for high recall that can also find non-obvious issues such as misspellings, word patterns, concepts, or people that do not want to be found and are deliberately hiding information. In this context, advanced search, text-analytics and data visualization are very important.

 (ii)               Workflow, data identification and collection technologies are what is needed for the legal hold, identification and collection process. Both corporate legal and IT organizations are in great need for technology that will help manage the first phase of an electronic information request. In this phase there is more demand for technology to addresses the specific  e-discovery process.

 (iii)             Records management, (automatic) content-based archiving will solve the enterprise information management problem. Text-analytics and text-mining are also essential in this phase. Many organizations that are implementing this last phase in the development of the e-discovery market place in order to realize proper Enterprise Information Management.

 (iv)             Data monitoring technology is required for ongoing auditing and compliance on dynamic and static (archived) data. Known current awareness and Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) technology from the intelligence and security industry is going through a second live phase due to these new (corporate) compliance requirements.

 However, organizations need more than just software. Count on professional services from specialists, and just as important, best-practice methodologies including quality control, reporting and auditing that will help organizations bring e-discovery, records-management, risk-control and compliance in-house in a defensible manner.