How to Select Legal Holds Software: Five Considerations for IT

Legal holds is an information governance issue that requires the attention of an entire enterprise. IT has no choice but to partner with the legal department in the purchasing decision since the wrong choice for legal holds software can inadvertently paralyze IT and undermine data management efficiency across the enterprise. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Deidre Paknad gives IT a practical framework of five strategic considerations in the selection of legal holds software.


As the stewards of the data subject to legal holds, an enterprise's IT department should carefully evaluate any legal holds application software. When legal holds is viewed as solely a legal department issue, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that the data on hold is everywhere except the legal department! The legal department is the legal holds author and process owner, but the wrong choice in legal hold application software can inadvertently paralyze IT and undermine data management efficiency.

While the legal department concentrates on mitigating risks and documenting its steps, the IT department focuses on efficiencies in data management. This includes the ability to streamline fulfillment requests and decommission PCs and file share data in a timely manner. Legal departments seldom recognize the impact of legal holds on the IT organization and most legal holds applications provide little efficiency for IT.

The Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC), a corporate practitioners' community, brings together legal, IT and records information management (RIM) professionals to discuss current and best practices in discovery, information governance, privacy and data management. The CGOC's user community shares experiences, good and bad, in order to advance business practices in these key areas. The following five considerations in selecting legal holds application software reflect the community's experiences and lessons learned.