A benchmarking survey was recently released by HP. The survey results highlight a problem that is as much legal hold related as it is e-discovery related. In short, who owns the e-discovery process, legal, IT, records management or a combination? The same is true for legal holds, as the failure to implement a legal hold is often the first misstep on the way to e-discovery related sanctions.
The HP survey revealed that organizations believe information is their highest business priority this year, yet fewer than 50% of decision makers are confident about their organizations' information quality and accessibility. About 40% of respondents said their firms lack in-house expertise and clear information strategies, particularly for electronic discovery. Among other findings from the HP-commissioned research surveys were:
1) Firms' biggest concerns regarding electronic discovery include the risk of being unable to produce documents quickly and the possibility of sanctions or bad press for failing to do so (42%). Other concerns cited included the lack of appropriate infrastructure to implement e-discovery strategies (24%) and worries about e-discovery costs (20%).
2) There appears to be a disconnect in correlating information strategy and e-discovery strategy for some firms. When asked "Who decides e-discovery strategy?" 60% replied that the effort was collaborative and would involve the firm's general counsel. But when asked “Who decides e-discovery technology?" 71% said the decision would rest solely with the chief information officer.
As shown through various discussions and cases on www.legalholds.typepad.com having a comprehensive legal hold business processin place is the best way to 1) preserve documents and ESI following a trigger event for litigation or anticipated litigation, 2) define the scope of preserved information appropriately to the trigger event to avoid costly over-preservation, 3) proper preservation practices should allow an organization to avoid sanctions and 4) avoiding over-preservation will save organizations money by reducing the volume of ESI to review and produce.
To read the original ARMA report on the survey click here: http://tinyurl.com/r6gdrb
For a copy of the HP Survey results click here: http://tinyurl.com/pjy977