It would be naïve to think that eDiscovery could knock the train that is “the cloud” off its rails. However, the stringent rules that companies are under to produce information in a timely manner for litigation or compliance purposes could be a thorn in the side for both companies and cloud providers a alike. eDJ is currently running a survey on eDiscovery and the cloud (take it and you could win a Kindle Fire). Analysis of the data is ongoing and the findings are both interesting and a bit scary for anyone responsible for information management.
What is clear is that eDiscovery is an afterthought, if a thought at all, when it comes to cloud-based information solutions. A large majority of respondents are using cloud-based solutions ranging from hosted email archiving to Salesforce.com to Quickbooks. Companies are knowingly or unknowingly storing discoverable information assets in the cloud. But, do they have a plan in place for eDiscovery should the need arise?
Overwhelmingly, the answer is no. Only 16% of respondents indicated that an eDiscovery plan is in place for cloud-based information management solutions. Granted, only 26% actually responded that they do not have an eDiscovery plan in place, but what is truly scary is that 58% don’t know if a plan exists. This is why I believe that eDiscovery is an afterthought.
Information management professionals need to create eDiscovery plans for cloud-based solutions as quickly as possible. eDJ is in the process of interviewing cloud providers about eDiscovery policies and offerings. We will report more on that later this year. In the meantime, be sure to ask your provider for policies on access to data, service levels for producing data, and any value-add functionality to cull and analyze potentially responsive information.