The incredibly quick growth of digital data has companies of all sizes scrambling to figure out how to store it and how to use it to make better business decisions.
But they also need to be concerned with how to manage it to comply with rules introduced last December that dictate the way electronic evidence is used in legal proceedings.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) pose a special challenge for SMBs, notes a recent E-Commerce Times article, because they generally lack a dedicated internal legal team to deal with the related issues. And the outside legal counsel hired by many SMBs often lacks federal experience, which will be needed if a lawsuit involves interstate commerce, says an e-discovery expert in the article.
So what's an SMB to do? The article's major point is that proactive planning is always preferable to a reactive strategy that won't kick in until a lawsuit is filed.
Do some research on where possible electronic evidence may be found and how to preserve it. While a formal, documented process for dealing with such data is best, just knowing where the data is located is a good first step.
Another piece of good advice, from an IT Business Edge interview with the CEO of Solix Technologies, a provider of e-discovery software, New E-Discovery Rules Will Change Document Management: Consider a single tool for managing data rather than multiple tools for documents, e-mail, electronic chats and applications.