By Tim Rollins
For the past several months, dating back to the release of Exterro and EDRM’s E-Discovery Maturity Quiz in September, this blog has looked at a variety of ways for organizations to either self-assess their e-discovery maturity, improve it, or benchmark it against their peers. Now, in its recent report on e-discovery, Defining Your E-Discovery Process Will Lower Costs and Reduce Risks, Gartner has provided another way to look at e-discovery maturity, recognizing that enterprises vary in the amount of their in-house capabilities.
Where the E-Discovery Maturity Quiz, and its predecessor, EDRM’s eMSAT-1 focused largely on technology and process, Gartner examines a broader set of criteria bearing on e-discovery maturity, including the following:
- Executive Focus: How involved in e-discovery are the executives ultimately responsible for it? Are they unaware of the details, or do they oversee the process with experienced knowledge of its components?
- Process Ownership: How much of the e-discovery process takes place in-house and how much is outsourced? And are the decisions to in-source or outsource being made strategically?
- EDRM Focus: On what stages of the E-Discovery Reference Model framework does the organization expend the most effort and attention?
- Technology Deployment: What technologies does the organization use to support its e-discovery efforts, from archiving and records management to a dedicated e-discovery and information governance platform?
- Cost Benchmark: How does the organization track and manage its e-discovery expenses?
This broad set of criteria for evaluating e-discovery maturity provides organizations with a valuable message; namely, well-resourced organizations can and should take the steps necessary to improve their e-discovery maturity as a means to lower expenses and reduce legal risk.
As the Gartner report explains, “Organizations that are frequently engaged in e-discovery exercises have begun to understand that the ultimate answer to managing cost and risk, while still meeting regulatory and legal obligations, is to take a more proactive view of information management. This view should not solely seek out technical solutions (i.e., storage) that allow the indefinite expansion of information stores. One of the bigger trends related to this has been a serious examination of retention policies and, more importantly, how to enforce them.”
For deeper insight into Gartner’s perspectives on e-discovery, download a copy of their research paper, Defining Your E-Discovery Process Will Lower Costs and Reduce Risks, compliments of Exterro today.