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E-discovery remains a reliable method for organizing and preserving data for legal, business and regulatory compliance, but advancing technology such as containers has complicated the continued effectiveness of e-discovery platforms during cloud migrations.
Companies that implement containerized data storage alongside their e-discovery platforms are required to prove continuity of data integrity and security across databases and programs. These existing information governance programs that are struggling to maintain compliance and security are now expected to further adapt and change during a cloud migration.
Innovations are producing demonstrable efficiencies that improve the velocity of business and making IT maturity a new metric by which to measure the competitiveness of any company. But utilizing e-discovery platforms (whether already installed or still to be acquired) demands that some additional strategies be embraced in order to succeed in improving the ROI of a company's investments.
1. Implementing information governance by design
Just as the EU GDPR has mandated privacy by design, every corporate migration to the cloud should incorporate information governance by design to help cloud-based e-discovery succeed.
Collaboration is essential. Legal, information governance, information security, audit, enterprise architecture and e-discovery service vendors should evaluate the proposed migration and make sure everyone knows how the resulting data (persistent and nonpersistent) will be managed under the company's existing information governance program.
Evaluating a successful cloud migration approach should start with answering and assessing major questions:
- Where will the data be stored?
- How will the data be classified?
- What metadata will be affixed to the data to enable effective retention and recovery for cloud-based e-discovery?
- Who will have access to the data containers in order to execute e-discovery?
- Will the access logs for containers be available to support documentation of authenticity and unauthorized manipulation? Will the container security controls support known legal criteria for demonstrating authenticity?
E-discovery has heightened corporate awareness of the long-term financial benefits of effective information governance, but implementing e-discovery platforms need collaboration between the stakeholders mentioned above to build verified game plans for how to use the platforms alongside cloud-based containerized services and data. This needs more than just testing specific protocols -- the actors should test their game plan and make sure that the relevant data and its provenance can be recovered and successfully repurposed in an investigation, licensing application or other battlefield.
3. Strengthening proposal requests
Containerization, orchestration and succeeding with cloud-based e-discovery all depends on the acquisition, licensing and integration of multiple third-party services. Most services involve extensive reliance on -- and adaptation of -- open source code assets. In every instance, the requests for proposal from a company should be strengthened to address the portfolio of issues addressed that come alongside any cloud migration approach.
4. Measuring existing services
It is essential to the success of any related project -- but especially before any migration or e-discovery platform expansion -- to measure the financial, operational and legal performance of the status quo. Calculating the ROI of any innovation is handicapped when the full costs of existing services are not considered.
Aligning the preceding strategies into planned cloud migrations has the potential to greatly expand economic effectiveness while also discovering and delivering new ROI for e-discovery platforms.