Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2010-11-24 03:35:44Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. The clear trend is that corporations are taking control of eDiscovery and bringing functions on the left side of the EDRM – identification, collection, preservation, and elements of processing, analysis, and review – in house.  The goal is a more proactive approach to an inherently reactive process.  But, the evolution is still a slow one.  Inevitably, most corporations still take a matter-by-matter approach to eDiscovery.

With a matter-by-matter approach, corporations tend to collect snapshots of data for each matter.  There’s a certain safety in doing this because the tools for other approaches are not mature and not necessarily battle-tested.   One of the things many corporations aspire to is in-place preservation.  In this scenario, files are placed on legal hold and locked down where they live instead of being copied and moved to a specific preservation repository.  There are advantages to this approach.  First, it can improve legal productivity – giving legal a central interface in which to put content from various sources on hold.  Second, it can ease the burden on IT – there’s less need to drop everything and do collections.  In addition, it reduces overall risk because there is less data movement.

Information management vendors tout in-place preservation capabilities and corporations are certainly interested.  But, there are skeptics.  I was at a seminar in New York recently and an eDiscovery consultant stated “there can be no in-place preservation when a corporation does not control the end points.”  What he meant was that in-place preservation is not a workable solution for corporations that allow users to have files and content on laptops, desktops, mobile devices, etc. that they don’t ultimately have centralized control over.  Central control is vital to any kind of preservation effort.  But, others argue that it’s enough to get the copy that is managed, e.g. in SharePoint, and not worry too much about the end point.  But, good legal teams should be able to figure out when there is the potential to get at more discoverable information (especially when hoping to trip up an opponent).

Will virtualization and SaaS solve the problem?  It’s possible to deploy information to users in a way that still provides a company central control.  In addition, the merging of backup and archiving software could help to give organizations end-point control.  But, the average corporation still lets users have information unmanaged on distributed devices.  Does that mean we’re not ready for in-place preservation?  We want your opinion – take the poll below and we’ll report on results soon.

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