The Future of eDiscovery Beyond 2014

What’s Next in eDiscovery?

Over the last several weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak with leaders at the Big 4, cutting edge technologists, staffing mavens and fellow eDiscovery Geeks, and the same question kept coming up.  “What’s next in eDiscovery?“

The canned near-term answer, of course is technology-leveraged solutions that marry skilled workers with analytics and other technological advancements.  This is a foregone conclusion with the influx of Big Data, BYOD, social networking, and the increasing scope and frequency of discovery requests.  What about in the next 18 months, 3 years 5 years?

The big picture, in my mind, goes well beyond merely eDiscovery.  In the next few years, there will be a unified approach to information management that is not siloed but rather fluidly constructed to manage information proactively, in real-time and reactively across cyber security, eDiscovery, operational and business needs.  These multi-disciplinary structures, policies, procedures, processes and controls will be implemented to manage information at an enterprise level, supporting an organization’s immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk, environmental and operational requirements.

Information Governance Writ Large

Gartner Inc., defines information governance (IG) as the specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the valuation, creation, storage, use, archival and deletion of information. It includes the processes, roles, standards and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of information in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.  For  IBM, information governance is a holistic approach to managing and leveraging information for business benefits and encompasses information quality, information protection and information life cycle management.

In essence, information government is the superset encompassing eDiscovery, access controls, cyber security, privacy compliance and the overall architecture for a corporation or government entity’s data.  Information governance was given national recognition in November, 2011 with a directive from President Obama to overhaul current records management processes within the government to encompass current needs more comprehensively, this top down support will further advance the integrated view of true IG

The New Vision Integrated IG

In order to support Information Governance (IG) in the widest possible sense, practitioners across all the disciplines that IG touches, need to step back and look at the bigger picture, where there is a deep interconnection between the information access and control needs of an organization.

A broader view of IG, the EDRM and Cyber Concerns copyright Cat Casey 2013

A Broader View of Information Governance, the EDRM and Cyber
Copyright Cat Casey 2013

A first step in this transformation comes with re-envisioning how we model the processes associated with reactive information management.  The protocols and tools used to proactively and in real-time manage data are unified under one set of controls or series of control within most organizations.  However as soon as there is an incident, legal hold, compliance issue, independent experts in cyber, eDiscovery and or audit are called in and begin to manage the data without regard for the other future needs associated with the data.  In the future I do not see a fortune 100 company looking at their information in such a black and white fashion.  Service providers with solutions along the full spectrum of IG needs will dominate the market and much like the current end-to-end discovery solution providers, provide a seamless approach to all possible IG needs.

There needs to be an ongoing dialogue between internal IT resources and the providers of services that fall under the IG umbrella, and the adversarial relationship between the two in many instances will need to be ameliorated. In the coming weeks, along with the Analytics series, I will look at the intersection of the vrious vertices of IG and welcome your insights.

By: Cat Casey, CEDS

Cat Casey

One Response to “The Future of eDiscovery Beyond 2014”
  1. Devin Krugly says:

    Great post Cat. The data involved in all of these disciplines almost always intersects. It will be a shift that is supported by technology, but requires significant changes in behavior and new communication.

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