Not nice to have but a must have
eDiscovery and Risk & Compliance are no longer something that should belong to specialists only. Following stricter legislation and regulation and the ever increasing amount of internal data, companies and organisations should be able to gain control and have insight in their data. Organisations should be able to carry out a first overview and investigate internally in either a preventive or reactive manner without having to outsource straight away.
This approach requires advances software which indexes ALL data, checks ALL data and have features like: visuals, graphs, dashboards and of course basic and advanced search capabilities. Most importantly, these complex features of the software should be useable by the less experienced and tech-savvy user as well. The user must be able to trust to have control over your internal data and give 100% disclosure on steps taken without taking any shortcuts in the data to be investigated.
When in doubt an internal investigator or user could and should go to the external specialist such as a law firm or an accountant. Either the internal investigator invites the external specialist to their system, or, after initial investigation and insight, the relevant dataset can be securely uploaded to the external system and processed there.
eDiscovery and the wider area of Risk & Compliance are not about three and four letter acronyms such as TAR, ECA, EDRM and such. Even though these acronyms are meant to give insight in data and sound very well, they often still refer to usage by experts and expensive investigation.
However, in my opinion the essence of a good, thorough and complete investigation lies in the hands of the person within the organisation that should be able to investigate parts or entire file shares, email shares and other carriers of data.
This software should be easy to use, even with large amounts of data without costing large amounts of money.
The basis of stable and scalable software in this area is an index and not the often still used databases. These, by definition, can give problems with stability and scalability when used on large amounts of data. Although they give a basis for impressive visuals, features and other sorts of tools in a limited amount of data they will give problems for more permanent solutions on permanent monitoring.
In short, eDiscovery should and will become a commodity: user-friendly, price-friendly and generally available.