The Role of an IT Department With eDiscovery

eDiscovery is now such an important part of regulatory compliance that it no longer can just be dealt with by a legal team or a group of interns. A company’s IT department has to intimately involved with this process as well.

eDiscovery has a serious part to play in a company’s legal defense and is carried out using technology which directly involves IT. If you’re not sure what eDiscovery is, it is better known as electronic delivery. It is the process where electronic data or ESI (Electronically Stored Information) is searched for and produced. Usually this is for the purpose of a legal case, court order or internal dispute. An eDiscovery request can be carried out on any piece of electronic information, but is mostly on electronically stored data like file archives, and more specifically email archives.

Email archives tend to contain the best information about what has been occurring at a company. Day-to-day business is heavily conducted using email and email attachments can contain a wealth of detail. eDiscovery is a lot of work, but it stems from compliance laws that companies have to legally follow.

So, why would the IT department get involved with such a legal matter? An IT department is responsible for the majority of ESI management within an organization. These days, files tend to not be stored physically stored in large paper archives. Archived information is likely to be found on servers and hard disks, which are IT based technologies.

With the rapid rise of electronic data, IT departments are also tasked with managing ESI growth rates. It can be quite a challenge to manage the storage and archiving needs of a company, especially if it uses outdated tape backup systems.

Email archiving comes under the remit of an IT department, therefore eDiscovery does as well. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that an effective and robust archive is in place that stores all inbound, internal and external email for future reference. This could be for internal purposes as well as for eDiscovery. Thankfully, there are dedicated solutions on the market that can automate email archiving, making storing email data a simple process.

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