Recommind, a leader in search-powered information risk management (IRM) software, has released results from a new survey about collaboration (or lack thereof) between enterprise IT and legal departments.
The survey of senior IT managers at enterprises averaging more than 17,000 employees examined the importance of eDiscovery to the enterprise as a whole, the coordination of eDiscovery efforts between IT and legal departments and the roles that each department plays in setting corporate policies and making technology buying decisions.
The results? Disparaging.
The results make it very clear that the collaborative message of eDiscovery is still lacking among companies and as a result could result in massive regulatory compliance and eDiscovery risks.
Perhaps most significantly, the results demonstrate the need for greater coordination in scoping and implementing of eDiscovery-related projects — especially those related to critical steps in the eDiscovery process, such as identifying, preserving and collecting documents pursuant to a legal hold.
While IT and legal departments have operated largely independently of one another in years past, they can no longer afford to. With the complexity and costs of eDiscovery increasing exponentially, the responsibilities and needs of each department are quickly becoming inextricably linked. In order to effectively meet information management, litigation, investigatory and regulatory challenges, it is imperative that legal and IT departments foster open communication and collaboration in order to properly identify, scope and implement projects and policies.
The average U.S. company already faces 305 lawsuits at any one time — a number that jumps to 556 for companies with more than $1 billion in revenue. With these stats, it's no wonder that companies need to address these risks, yet the reality is that companies still don't get it.
Consider the following:
- 37% of IT respondents reported that legal and IT were working more closely together than the year before
- Only 21% felt that eDiscovery was a “very high” priority
- Only 29% truly understood the technical requirements of eDiscovery
- Only 12% of IT respondents felt that the legal department understood the technical requirements for eDiscovery
- Only 16% thought that legal was helpful during eDiscovery projects
With the current financial downturn and greater government oversight of multiple industries expected to come, more stringent federal regulations and a continuing rise in lawsuits, enterprises of all sizes need to do more than just think proactively about information risk management.
First things first.
Companies need to understand the many aspects of an eDiscovery project, including what vendor to select, how to implement its solution, how to get more value out of existing technology and what processes and people to put in place to manage the eDiscovery system once it’s installed.
Knowing used to be half the battle. Now doing it just as important.