Take Away: Gartner's annual MarketScope report and a recent keynote speech at LegalTech NY underscore the importance of tactical investment in not just technology, but in strong data organization as well.  

Recently, Gartner released a MarketScope for E-Discovery Software Product Vendors, rating the product vendors, which allows organizations considering a technology purchase as part of their information management and E-discovery strategy to compare how the vendors stack up. In their own words:

“Enterprises purchasing e-discovery software can reduce the costs of litigation by improving their control over unstructured content, and semi-structured content, most notably e-mail. …

Data center managers, information security officers, information architects, in-house legal personnel and records managers should read this document when planning or building e-discovery capabilities in their enterprise.”

Gartner recommends that through 2010, at least, “enterprises should acquire tools in this market tactically”, suggesting that reaching a point of proactive control over all the unstructured data that has been produced and stored in organizations over the years is going to require some long term planning and difficult decision making. It’s been all too common for organizations to “keep everything just in case”, which has only led to more problems. Gartner recommends tactical purchases because the technology required to correct these problems, while growing swiftly from year to year, is still relatively “immature” at this point in time.

Achieving “Strong Positive” ratings from Gartner for 2008 were Clearwell, FTI Technology, Symantec and ZyLAB, while AccessData, Autonomy, CA, Guidance Software, IBM, Kazeon, Mimosa Systems, PSS Systems, and Recommind received “Positive” ratings. Gartner also listed 6 other vendors as “Promising” so we may see the ranks of positive ratings swell over the next year.

You can view the report in its entirety here:

http://mediaproducts.gartner.com/reprints/ca/163258.html

Earlier this month, Fred M. Borchardt gave a Keynote presentation at the LegalTech New York Conference entitled Enterprise Records and Information Management Considerations. According to reports, in his presentation, Borchardt encouraged attendees to “Think Left”, referencing the left side of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, which starts with Information Management, as the best way to meet their E-Discovery requirements.

See diagram

As effective management of data is the key component to reducing the risks and costs associated with electronic discovery, this Gartner report can help familiarize you with what technological tools may be available to help you with the left side of the model. This, combined with a strong commitment to data organization, can help you meet these challenges effectively.