Friday, December 23, 2011

Electronic Discovery And Cloud Computing

Electronic Discovery And Cloud Computing
Electronic Discovery And Cloud Computing

Many organizations and businesses today are looking at cloud computing as the next best mode of data storage. Cloud computing is an innovative way of storing data, because with it, the need for a physical storage device is eliminated. Switching over to cloud computing would save organizations time and money by cutting down on IT costs, improving data storage capabilities, and reducing overall storage costs. Important information and documents can be easily uploaded through the Internet to the servers of the cloud vendors for easy access and hassle free storage. However, many legal firms and litigation support providers see some problems in using the cloud - especially during civil lawsuits. In cases of civil litigation, data and information would have to be retrieved and analyzed to produce relevant evidence for the legal case, and this process of data retrieval and analysis is called "electronic discovery."

Certain problems, like the legal hold of information, would be very difficult to establish with cloud vendors. Legal issues like control and custody of important data would also be a huge obstacle to an efficient electronic discovery process. The cloud's technology uses servers for several clients and if one of those clients gets involved with a legal case then it would definitely be very difficult to hold all of the information for that specific client. There are certain things an organization can do to make cloud computing and electronic discovery work together more efficiently, though. Here are a few tips to consider if you are planning on switching over to the cloud for data storage:

  •  Know the cloud vendor rules - Before migrating your information and data over to a cloud company, you should know all of their important rules and regulations. It is a good idea to learn how their system really works. Important rules and regulations regarding the company's policy on data retrieval and storage should all be reviewed before making any commitments.
  • Flexibility of cloud vendors - Before switching over to the cloud for data storage, it is very important to find out whether the company would be able to support electronic discovery. Aside from getting information about how the system works, try to find out about the policies the cloud vendor has in place for electronic discovery.
  • Terms and Conditions - Knowing the different terms and conditions of the cloud company are also critical. Important terms and conditions regarding termination of services should always be reviewed, because important data for your organization could easily be lost or become inaccessible should your cloud service be suddenly terminated. It is imperative that you read between the lines of the policies of the cloud vendor first.

Electronic discovery and cloud computing should work hand in hand to make life a bit easier for organizations and businesses during civil litigations. Easy access and retrieval of information should always be prioritized when choosing such systems. Know all the important details of the cloud provider and electronic discovery vendors first before migrating your company's important data onto such systems. Electronic discovery and cloud computing are new technologies that must be reviewed and analyzed carefully before implementing them in your organization.

Dandy Rockwell is a representative from Digital Reef. Her goals are to better promote the understanding of how ediscovery works for civil cases and how it can help lower litigation costs for legal law firms and businesses.

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