The Executive Counsel Institute "Exchange" forum on e-discovery kicked of today in New York. Corporate legal teams, outside counsel, technologists and service providers come together each year at this time to share e-discovery challenges, war stories, and successes too. The conference hall held a standing-room-only crowd - a sign that the turbulent changes in technology, rules, and processes surrounding the e-discovery process persist as this relatively young market continues to emerge.
This is the 3rd annual ECI conference in New York. When asked "what's changed for you since last year?", a number of returning participants reported that they are continually assessing progress in their programs and methodologies, and reassessing service providers too. The sheer number of service and tool providers, and the regular rate at which consolidation via mergers, acquisition, or change of business model puts the bench depth and professional skillsets of many providers in flux. With project management and analytics services as top on the deliverables by service partners, continuity of key players is an important consideration.
Another interesting conversation today: the role of Records Management in the age of 'big data'. RM professionals increasingly see data stores as key corporate assets. New BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations, transforming a sea of mere data into information. Reporting, analytics, data mining, process mining, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics can enable quicker, more precise business decisions based on historic and current activity.
The balance between risk of over-retention of data must be balanced with the potential business and strategic benefits of data-driven decisions. That balance will vary by company size, industry, and temperament of management.
The remainder of the day was packed with rich discussion of e-discovery project management, cloud computing, social media, and cost control. Watch this space for guest blog posts.