I have just been involved in a series of events sponsored by PWC in respect of e-discovery. For those unaware of the concept, which included me up until a few months ago, e-discovery relates to electronic records and documents, often in respect of their retrieval for litigation and compliance purposes.
High cost reputation damaging litigation or compliance failure impacts both lawyers and the IT function. It would appear that many organisations struggle with the communication barriers that exist between legal professionals and the IT function. This in turn has led to an intermediary function evolving to bridge the communications chasm.
The IT function really needs to ask itself why such intermediaries are required. This is a common problem across all functions that engage with IT. Given that the IT function is supposed to be providing a service, why is there a need for the user community to construct service-interfaces in order to get what they need?
This reflects poorly on the IT function and the IT industry as a whole. CIOs who want to remain CIOs might see this as an opportunity and seize responsibility for compliance and e-discovery. The opportunities to drive down the associated (and substantial) costs and support the organisation’s reputation management will certainly capture the boardroom’s attention more so than monologues on virtualization and the Cloud.