Legal matters are complicated. In the digital world, they have become even more complex. Businesses often require digital records to support legal claims, which is why electronic discovery (eDiscovery) is so important. However, just because eDiscovery is critical to the legal process doesn't mean it's easy. Here are a few eDiscovery challenges and ways to overcome them.
- Learn more about 7 critical challenges of eDiscovery: Data volume, data format, data location, privacy and security, cost, time constraints and lack of standardisation.
- Get help from experts to address these challenges
Common eDiscovery Challenges
The technology for electronic discovery is still developing, so some parts of the process don't always go smoothly. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate the hassles. Being proactive about potential roadblocks and getting support from Cloudficient to migrate data to the cloud can make things a lot easier.
1. Data volume
As more of the world becomes digital, the volume of electronic documents is growing rapidly. The amount of data pulled in eDiscovery can become overwhelming. This results in longer processing and review times, higher costs, and increased risk of errors.
To overcome this challenge, organizations should adopt technology-assisted review tools, such as predictive coding, that can help prioritize and categorize data based on relevance and importance. Internal records should also be carefully organized for easy reference later.
2. Data format
Electronic records can come in a wide range of formats, including emails, documents, spreadsheets, databases, audio and video files, social media posts and instant messages. All of these items are valuable, but they may not be compatible with the same systems. This can be one of the biggest eDiscovery challenges, requiring someone to organize all of the records into a usable format.
The best solution is to rely on customized eDiscovery platforms that can read a variety of document types and automatically convert them into whatever final format is needed. Organizations will save time because they won't need extra workers to handle this task.
3. Data location
Collecting useful documents for eDiscovery can be hard when those records aren't stored in the same place. Some records may be on local and networked computers, while others are on mobile devices, cloud services, or social media accounts. This can make it difficult to identify and preserve all relevant data in a timely and efficient manner.
Avoiding this problem starts with good policies. Your company should have rules about how data should be accessed and stored. For instance, you could require that company business is only handled on company devices, reducing the chances of important documents ending up on personal devices. You should also make sure that your eDiscovery software is equipped to search multiple sources.
4. Data privacy and security
The data pulled during the eDiscovery process is sometimes sensitive and needs to be protected. That data also needs to be secure so its validity is guaranteed. Accomplishing those tasks lead to more eDiscovery challenges that warrant consideration and planning. Any unauthorized access, disclosures or data loss can jeopardize the proceedings the eDiscovery is meant to support.
To mitigate these risks, organizations should implement strict data security measures, such as encryption and access controls. All eDiscovery platforms should ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the data on them. If you're not sure if your systems have the right level of security, Cloudficient can help you identify and address risks.
Logistical issues can also become eDiscovery challenges, including financial concerns. This can be a very expensive process, involving significant personnel costs, such as legal and IT staffing, as well as technology costs for hardware, software, and storage.
One solution is to streamline your processes as much as possible. Start by deciding what electronic records are truly needed for a given situation. Having a more narrow focus reduces the volume of records that your team will need to sort through. You should also use any software or technology to its fullest so you can cut down on the work people need to do.
6. Time constraints
The eDiscovery process is often subject to tight time constraints, such as court-ordered deadlines and discovery cut-off dates. This can make it challenging to complete your eDiscovery within the allotted time frame, especially when dealing with large volumes of data.
Planning is the best way to avoid this issue. Create a realistic timeline and clear procedures to make the process as efficient as possible. As soon as possible, identify the resources and personnel needed to keep the project on track.
7. Lack of standardization
This may be one of the toughest eDiscovery challenges to overcome because you can't always plan for it. The format and requirements for your electronic records can vary depending on the entity that will be reviewing them. For instance, a local judge may have one set of requirements, while federal regulators want something different.
It's best to get as much detail about eDiscovery requirements as soon as possible to make sure your team is working in the right direction. It can be a huge setback to prepare a set of documents only to find out they won't be accepted because of their format. It's also a good idea to stay informed about the latest eDiscovery case law and guidelines.
Get Past eDiscovery Challenges
No process is perfect, but it's not impossible to overcome some of the unique problems that arise with eDiscovery. By planning ahead, doing your research and embracing the right technology, eDiscovery challenges don't have to stop you from gathering the information you need. If you want more support and tools to streamline your eDiscovery process, reach out to Cloudficient today.
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If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.