One of the unfortunate realities of our world is that it is far more litigious than it ever used to be. This means a much greater need for businesses to maintain good compliance and documentation. This is doubly important given the fact that much of our communication is now completed electronically.
In the unfortunate circumstance that your business is involved in a legal case you may be receive an eDiscovery request. This will require your business to produce electronic copies of all the correspondence relating to the matter requested. That request could be regarding an individual, customer, etc.
Ask yourself how easily you could perform this task today? Consider that you will probably have to provide results from emails, multiples files, etc. eDiscovery is very challenging for many businesses simply because they are not prepared for the volume of information they need to provide or search.
There are businesses out there that will provide eDiscovery services, however as you would expect, these can be quite expensive and disruptive to a business. You should also consider that an eDiscovery request could extend to information in the past. That may require recovering information from backups as well. As you can probably now appreciate, eDiscovery can be quite an expensive process.
Although your business may never be served with an eDiscovery request it never hurts to be prepared. Planning is the key and it starts with looking at the compliance you have around your existing digital data. How often is it all backed up? How long is it retained for? How long would it take to restore? It may also be a worthwhile exercise to conduct a test eDiscovery request to provide you with an idea of difficult it would be to recover data around a topic.
The requirements around eDiscovery are growing very quickly in our digital world. This means that your business at some stage may be required to complete an eDiscovery request. Having a think about how that may be performed within your business now may save you a lot of heartache down the track.