Compliance choked by data shortfall: survey

Nearly 63 percent of corporate legal, compliance and IT professionals surveyed at LegalTech New York 2010 claim that inadequate technology and resources are the biggest barriers to managing electronically stored information (ESI).

Kroll Ontrack reports that an equal number of respondents believe their organisations manage corporate data well in preparation for, or response to, legal and/or regulatory requirements.

However, one-third of respondents confirm they either do not have or do not know if they have the appropriate technology tools or an archiving platform to manage the storage and destruction of ESI.

“In addition to managing the growing volumes of electronic data, corporations must cost effectively and defensibly respond to investigations and requests for production of electronic data,” said George May, vice president of product strategy, Kroll Ontrack.

“Organizations must implement defensible retention policies and adequate technology to respond effectively to investigations, litigation and regulatory matters. To stay on top of these demands, implementing an archiving system with robust legal hold capabilities and automating an organization’s document retention and disposal process is more important than ever.”

This survey, conducted by Kroll Ontrack on the show floor at LegalTech New York 2010, Feb. 1-3, provided insight into how corporations and law firms are managing data with respect to evolving business needs, legal and/or regulatory requirements and electronic discovery requests.

Key findings indicate that litigation hold and automated document retention functionality are key drivers in information management purchasing decisions. In fact, the ability to retain documents for business continuity or legal purposes was ranked as the most important factor when utilising technology to manage data for ESI requests.

“The most defensible litigation holds centre around effective document retention policies and seamless execution. But, all too often, organisations rely solely on technology without considering the other part of the equation: people and process,” added Jason Straight, vice president of legal technologies business development and consulting services, Kroll Ontrack.

“A combination of a sound document retention program, the right tools and a team approach ensures organisations are prepared for the inevitable and can perform a credible, repeatable and defensible ESI request response process.”

Respondents also consider early case analytics, automated document destruction and storage optimization to be important factors when utilizing technology to manage data for business continuity or legal purposes.

Nearly 170 law firm attorneys, corporate counsel, IT administrators and legal support professionals participated in Kroll Ontrack’s in-person survey, which consisted of separate questionnaires to capture the unique perspectives of law firms and corporations. The majority of corporate respondents were comprised of general counsel, IT and litigation support professionals.