eDiscovery Daily Blog

How Do You Dispose of “Digital Debris”? EDRM Has Answers – eDiscovery Best Practices

In 2012, the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC) released survey results indicating that nearly 70 percent of organizational information has no legal or business value and noted that, for most organizations, information volume doubles every 18-24 months.  Now, EDRM, in collaboration with the CGOC, has released a new white paper to address growing concerns related to the amount and substance of electronic data currently created and stored.

Announced last week, the white paper, titled Disposing of Digital Debris – Information Governance Strategy and Practice in Action, is designed to provide readers with the strategy and practice they need to achieve disposal of their unnecessary electronic information.  Why is this issue such a major problem in organizations today?  Consider the following:

  • Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data and rising;
  • Storage locations can include on-site, off-site, cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) deployments and appear in a variety of hybrid configurations;
  • Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook combine large volumes of data with high intensity social habits, creating large volumes of potentially sensitive data;
  • IT infrastructure, burdened by the storage and management of excessive data, shoulders high hidden costs that impact its budget and degrade application performance and operations;
  • eDiscovery processes result in the preservation of large amounts of data, including many duplicates that will be re-used as evidence in future litigation if not properly destroyed;
  • New regulatory requirements such as Dodd-Frank and privacy regulations increase the cost and risk of unnecessarily managing data debris.

With these factors contributing to the problem and nearly 70 percent of organizational data having no legal or business value, the need to identify and dispose of digital debris is clear.  To address the issue, the white paper is organized into three sections:

  1. The Problem – Defining and Identifying Digital Debris: This section discusses the tendency of IT departments to “keep everything forever”, provides several examples of digital debris and discusses the advantages of – and roadblocks to – disposal.
  2. The Strategy – Utilizing the Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) Framework to Define and Design a Successful Information Governance Program: This section reviews the IGRM model (previously covered on this blog here) and covers a three-step approach to effectively begin to reduce both the risk and overhead costs associated with risky retention of digital debris.
  3. The Practice – Implementing the Strategy with Success: This section discusses and provides graphics to illustrate best practices for integrating people, process and technology and the benefit of a holistic approach involving all stakeholders, including Records management, Legal, Line of business users, Privacy and security and IT.

The white paper is available here and can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF file.

So, what do you think? Does your organization have an effective program in place to eliminate “digital debris”? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.