E-Discovery & Information Governance in Today’s Cloud-First World

In today’s data-driven business world, organizations that fail to manage and exploit their information—particularly when it lives in the cloud—will fall behind their competitors and expose themselves to unnecessary risk and cost.

Information governance is essential when organizations are evaluating, selecting, and migrating to a cloud provider. Put another way, it is clearly irresponsible for organizations to use the cloud for serious enterprise work, with valuable corporate information assets, unless and until they have evaluated a cloud provider’s ability to support their IG needs generally, and their e-discovery needs specifically.

Information governance provides a framework for organizations to take control of their information and to select and maximize the cloud opportunity. Organizations that fail to consider their information governance requirements will very likely find themselves in an uncomfortable place when litigation and e-discovery forces them to scramble to identify, produce, and present responsive information.

Organizations seeking to do real, enterprise business with valuable data in the cloud must seek out cloud service providers that are firmly committed to the principles of information governance. This is the only way to ensure that they will be able to respond quickly, efficiently, and completely when the other side in litigation or a regulator asks for their information.

To help organizations ensure that they are prepared to conduct e-discovery in the cloud, the Information Governance Initiative (IGI) is pleased to announce the release of its newest white paper, E-Discovery in a Cloud-First World: Using Information Governance to Prepare & Protect Your Organization.

  1. The cloud computing market grows bigger each day, and for good reason. All research points in the same direction: the cloud computing market is exploding. After all, the cloud provides businesses with the agility, availability, and cost savings necessary to survive in today’s ever-changing business world.
  2. Moving to the cloud isn’t without its risks. While the benefits of the cloud cannot be ignored, neither can the risks. For starters, once an organization has migrated to the cloud, chances are its data no longer lives on-premises. Such an arrangement could expose an organization to security vulnerabilities or force it to deal with issues relating to availability. Beyond that, organizations might have a hard time keeping track of rogue employees who use the cloud services of their liking—like the designer who uses a consumer cloud service to collaborate with a client without the oversight of the IT or legal departments.
  3. E-Discovery can be more complicated when information is stored in the cloud. It’s important to remember that once an organization begins to leverage cloud assets, chances are a third party is now at least partially responsible for managing its information. In the case of the designer who uses a consumer cloud service, decision makers would have to rely on that service in the event they had to retrieve pertinent documentation—provided they even know that it is there when making representations to a court or regulator. Save for large enterprises that construct and maintain their own private cloud infrastructure, businesses that live in the cloud don’t have complete control of their data—and they’re not their provider’s only customer, either.
  4. Some cloud providers place more emphasis on information governance than others. Because an outside entity is going to have at least some responsibility for their data when it’s stored in the cloud, organizations would be wise to partner with providers that are prepared to make the e-discovery process as seamless as possible, i.e., those that place an emphasis on information governance. In this white paper, you’ll learn precisely what characteristics to look for in such a provider.
  5. Cloud migration is an information governance opportunity. By incorporating robust information governance principles into their cloud migration strategies from the start, organizations can put the right safeguards in place to ensure they are able to easily conduct e-Discovery in a comprehensive fashion—and quickly.

To learn more about what your organization should do ahead of moving to the cloud to make sure your information is safe—or what information governance capabilities you should look for in a cloud service provider—click here to download and read this comprehensive new publication.