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Clearwell Systems Intros Major E-Discovery Blunders to be Avoided by IT Departments
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May 18, 2010

Clearwell Systems Intros Major E-Discovery Blunders to be Avoided by IT Departments

By Raja Singh Chaudhary, TMCnet Contributor

Clearwell Systems, Inc., a provider of intelligent electronic discovery, or “e-discovery,” solutions that transform the way enterprises and law firms perform e-discovery in response to litigation, regulatory inquiries, and internal investigations, has announced to introduce a list of the top five e-discovery blunders that enterprises must avoid from an IT and storage perspective.

The company has taken real-world insights from corporations and industry thought leaders into account for preparing this list, which will help IT personnel in efficiently bringing e-discovery in-house.

According to Clearwell, the first one among the ‘Top 5 E-Discovery Landmines to Avoid’ is to underestimate the real cost of storage, as many IT departments have adopted a ‘save everything’ approach after the storage costs have fallen considerably in a few last years, which were around $20 in 2000 and are less than $0.10 in 2010. Still, the company emphasizes, the real cost of processing and reviewing the stored data during e-discovery is much more, which usually averages to $5,000 per GB in terms of processing and attorney review costs. Therefore, the company suggests, enterprises must change their data retention policies in order to avoid a downstream data deluge and the crippling resultant costs.

The second blunder is assuming that email archiving is the silver bullet, as although e-mail archiving is a vital step to secure data, still it is not a comprehensive solution as most email archiving products do not offer the advanced analysis and review capabilities required by the legal team in response to discovery and compliance requests.

Relying solely on technology to solve the problem is a yet another big mistake that enterprises make, Clearwell says, as despite being a crucial element in e-discovery, technology is not the sole answer. The company adds that an effective and defensible e-discovery requires a balance of people, processes and technology, and enterprises must also deploy best practice workflows and staff with experienced people who can manage the entire process apart from leveraging advanced technical solutions.

Next e-discovery landmine to avoid in Clearwell’s list is trying to solve a non-linear problem with a linear approach, as e-discovery is an iterative process that involves back and forth between the preservation, collection and review phases. Finally, the fifth and last e-discovery shortcoming on the part of enterprises is to turn to a solution that can index all data sources, such as laptops, desktops, file servers, SharePoint servers, databases, email archives, content management systems. Clearwell suggests that while such a solution may work for small and medium-sized companies with a finite scope of data, large enterprises don’t find this level of complexity in scale and operations appropriate for carrying out their e-discovery operations.

According to Dean Gonsowski, Vice-President, E-Discovery Services, Clearwell Systems, nothing aligns IT and legal departments' interests more than the e-discovery challenge, and with the Enterprise Strategy Group's survey revealing that 73 percent of enterprises plan to bring e-discovery in-house this year, the two departments will increasingly need to work hand in hand.

In January 2010, Clearwell Systems, Inc. announced to introduce version 5.1 of its Clearwell E-Discovery Platform, which includes expanded support for Guidance Logical Evidence Files or ‘LEF’ and Forensic Image Files or ‘E01’.

Raja Singh Chaudhary is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raja's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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