21. Know Your Data: Create a Data Map
To proactively manage ever-growing piles of e-mail, document/graphics storage and database data, organizations should create a map of where all their documents and data are stored before litigation occurs and keep it up-to-date. This requires an inventory of all relevant sources of information and an IT infrastructure diagram that shows where data stores are located.
32. Create a Data Retention Policy
Document retention policies should be instituted that identify which content needs to be managed and that incorporates the organization’s philosophy, responsibilities, procedures and timeframes. The policy should be applied to all content and records across the enterprise-regardless of location and format.
43. Executive Buy-In Needed
54. Know Your End Users
65. Build the Litigation Readiness Team
76. Automate Policies and Track Decisions Users Make
87. Take End Users Out of the Preservation Loop
98. Get Started
Organizations are better off deploying a starter policy/process today and improving it over time, instead of spending time trying to make a “perfect” policy. Courts and regulators generally expect reasonable efforts, not perfection. The best way for an organization to minimize risk is to create a policy, publish it, train to it, demonstrate that the policy has been followed and adjust it over time.
109. Use a Scalable, Flexible Process
Even with the best-designed policy, litigation hold and data destruction processes can go out of date as regulations change. Companies should periodically review and audit their policies and processes. An automated auditing capability can help validate that the policy or process is being consistently followed.
1110. Centralize Management Wherever Possible
The key complications involving litigation readiness is that information is scattered across a wide range of disparate systems. Implementing an information governance system with a single interface that can search, collect and preserve data as if the content resided in the same physical location, without having to physically move the content to a centralized repository, can lower the cost/complexity to obtain accurate e-discovery results.