Why Your Social Computing Strategy Matters to Your eDiscovery Project


Organizations are quickly realizing the need to build a social strategy for their business.  This includes exploring how Facebook and Twitter-like functionality can be brought to the enterprise.

The sense of urgency for developing such a social strategy has been primarily driven by the consumer experience of individuals.  When consumers are far more productive at home than at work, they start to demand similar tools and capabilities with which they can interact with each other even at work.  And if they don’t’ get those capabilities at work, they start using tools available to them at home for work use.

While this is getting to be an increasingly accepted concept, what organizations at large haven’t done a particularly good job in is thinking of the long term implications related to interactivity, but also numerous other aspects of computing.

Let’s take eDiscovery for example.  Most would think of eDiscovery efforts as entirely separate efforts that don’t need to be tied to an organization’s social strategy.  It is the absence of connecting these dots that could lead to some exposure points for organizations.  Consider that over a third of the traffic on the web is created due to rich media streaming (video, audio, etc.).  Also consider that at this point, majority of the information on the web is not in text, but in video, audio and pictures.  In fact, just today, a statistic was release that 24 hours of video get posted every minute on YouTube

Why is this significant to large enterprises?

Today, something that is considered a fairly recent innovation of technology (i.e. eDiscovery), is primarily focused on discovering data for either litigation, audit or compliance purposes within the firewall. And it is focused primarily on discovery of text data.

However, moving forward, most expert opinions tells us that the largest corporate information asset type to experience growth will be rich media.  So two factors that are central to the efficacy of this relatively new concept of eDiscovery are already poised for a very incomplete solution.  The relevance of today’s eDiscovery tools will only apply to a small subset of data, which is text data within the firewall.

As more organizational data sits outside of corporate boundaries, and in most cases, outside of corporate governance, along with a lot of that data being rich media, how must eDiscovery evolve?

The answer to this question, while not simple, can only be arrived at by carefully studying an organization’s social strategy or social behavior/need in the absence of a social strategy.  It also means that those that focus on eDiscovery in a very tactical manner, will miss the bigger picture.

Lastly, some could effectively argue that this is still going to take a while before organizations have to deal with this, since today most relevant discoverable electronically stored information (ESI) is within the firewalls and in text, and some would even argue that it is in email.  The argument is a good one.  It is that of a “crawl, walk, run” nature.  Let’s first learn to effectively automate discovery of ESI within the organization that is text, and then move to the other types.  But what we might be underestimating is that these realities will change much faster than we give it credit or care to imagine.

So in order to avoid playing catch-up the entire while, consider part of your eDiscovery strategy effort to include aligning with the vision of your organization’s social strategy and projected social behavior.

If you are looking for whitepapers on either eDiscovery or Social Computing and Collaboration, please visit Doculabs at www.doculabs.com.

Explore posts in the same categories: eDiscovery, Enterprise and Social Implications, Hoping for a Discussion, Trends and Predictions

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