The growth of electronically stored information, new cybersecurity threats, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and cloud-based innovations to automation software are external forces reshaping the eDiscovery landscape. As a result, organizations and their legal departments will need to alter their eDiscovery processes to keep pace with all the changes. Here are some key trends developing with in the eDiscovery sector:
Organizations produce and access a significant volume of electronic and online data every day and most countries recognize the need to ensure this data is protected. The EU is set to implement GDPR in May 2018, and as a result, companies both inside and outside the EU will need to adapt their eDiscovery processes to ensure compliance with the new regulations. In addition, the U.K., which is set to exit the EU in 2021, will also need to implement its own version of GDPR that is likely to act in a similar way to the EU’s regulation. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are frequently amended to keep pace with new technologies and trends in electronic data storage. These new regulations require companies to ensure their eDiscovery and data storage processes remain compliant or else risk significant fines.
With the sheer amount of data being produced in the corporate environment, it’s impossible for all of it to be processed manually, especially when taking into account deadlines and other time constraints. AI has the ability to scan documents for keywords, phrases and semantics, reducing the manual load on employees. As time goes by the technology continues to advance along with the systems and processes that utilize it. Technologies such as predictive coding can even learn from human reviewers before applying its knowledge to its automated processes, resulting in more cost savings to an organization. However, despite the rapid advancement of this technology, companies also need procedures in place in case the technology doesn’t deliver as expected or produces ambiguous results.
More organizations are recognizing that information is their most valuable asset. As a result, many are looking for better ways to manage this information. Analytics allows companies to reduce data volumes, identify patterns and relationships, as well as group together similar documents efficiently. This makes it easier for organizations to interpret their own data, as well as provide better insights and conclusions.
Email is no longer the only means of communication within an organization, but it is the easiest one to track. However, the rise in prominence of other forms of communication such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Slack, Yammer and other internal and external social media platforms requires companies to be more cognizant of where communication is taking place and where it is stored. eDiscovery platforms need to be able to process, host, display and produce data from these sources as well.