If you're reading this blog, you may already be familiar with the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (www.EDRM.net), which is a one page eDiscovery process model. It is becoming a widely adopted standard for displaying and articulating the steps of the eDiscovery process, beginning on the far left hand side of the model with "Information Management" (the current state of how an organization is, or is not, managing its electronic information), and then as you move from left to right, the model reflects the various steps of the eDiscovery process ("identification, collection, preservation, analysis," etc.)
When organizations consider how they want to address eDiscovery, they often determine that they should start with better information management. It is logical to "clean up" the IT environment, set logical policies, and get control over information, as a proactive way to attack at its core the challenge of eDiscovery. I think of this as a "step 1, step 2" approach - step 1 involves efforts to bring information under policy management in a proactive way (including with archiving and content management), and in step 2, aspects of the eDiscovery process are moved in-house and made more efficient and repeatable.
In fact, what I often see in the marketplace is that many organizations are proceeding "step 2, step 1" or attacking both steps simultaneously. The reason has everything to do with the speed of deployment and the time to value of a chosen solution. An archiving project that takes months to implement may well provide a significant return on investment, but that return will occur in the future. Moreover, most eDiscovery involves the collection and preservation of historic content. If that historic content does not reside in the newly built repository (or if it is not migrated in), then relief for ongoing eDiscovery challenges will not only wait for the new repository to be built, but also for additional years after it is deployed, as content gets populated in the repository over time.
It is for this very reason that EMC is delivering "plug and play" solutions in the eDiscovery space. The EMC Solution for eDiscovery Collection includes a StoredIQ appliance that can be deployed in hours, and that indexes terabyes a day. That appliance is bundled with EMC's infrastructure (such as Centera storage for litigation hold and Documentum for content and records management), as well as EMC services. The result is that the solution can begin to provide immediate step 2 relief, AND importantly, it can be leveraged to identify critical record content that resides in file shares, desktops and other unmanaged locations, and then move or duplicate such content into managed repositories as part of an efficient step 1 strategy for proactive information management. Demo of EMC Solution for eDiscovery Collection
In sum, over the last several years, I have seen the launch of many grand compliance projects, but the ones that are most successful typically involve 'an enterprise strategy broken into digestible pieces' where the digestible pieces are scoped in a focused way and involve deployments of process and technology that lead to a very fast and measurable return on investment because they fix acute information management challenges. The eDiscovery business process remains so broken that, for many organizations, it makes sense to prioritize projects that enable 'in-house eDiscovery' even before (or at the same time as) the larger IT clean up projects are addressed.