In our playbook, step one is managing your data better.

Technology is all around us, and it’s fueling the 21st century data boom. This ubiquitous technology is creating billions of pieces of communication a day.

A report by the Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, indicated that the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day would exceed 281 billion in 2018. Radicati forecasts that number will grow to more than 333 billion by 2022.

How does this apply to law-firms and in-house legal departments? Let’s examine how the industry is dealing with Big Data and the infrastructure required to contain and manage it.

Emails are the most prominent example of ESI–especially in the legal industry. However, there’s more to consider. For example, organizations who have moved to Microsoft 365 may still have on-premise exchange platforms, employees may keep.pst mailbox files on their local hard drives, old data may be maintained in legal-hold platforms, or terminated user data may live on networks indefinitely––not to mention content on a variety of disparate platforms like Dropbox, Google drive, SharePoint or various social media sites.

With increases in data stores, their locations, and the need for organizations “to satisfy their retention duty,” more businesses and their advocates must manage data better and limit the amount of information that makes it downstream to vendors and case teams.

A Managed Solution engagement can be customized and specifically tailored to encompass a corporation’s Information Governance (IG), Preservation and Collection needs. These engagements allow organizations to leverage professionals with extensive electronic data experience to help draft information governance plans and data maps to develop smarter preservation and collection methods.  These solutions simultaneously address retention-duty obligations and reduce data volumes that ultimately need to be reviewed.  For example:

  • Deploy a “Preservation Managed Solution” where the collection of custodians and data stores (frequently a target of document requests) are put on a regular collections schedule.  This helps with an organization’s litigation readiness and eliminates the need to recollect data. 
  • An “IG Front-End Solution” can also help in the processing and review stages of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) by re-purposing the data and attorney work product. Organizations can put processes in place where data that is relevant to multiple matters is processed only once. In this case, the coding decisions and work product can be reused.