InformationWeek's information-management blogger Andrew Conry-Murray made an interesting observation Friday. And given the evolution of regulatory requirements that address information management -- particularly electronically stored information -- I agree with his conclusions.
Conry-Murray says CIOs increasingly are sharing information-management responsibilities with corporate general counsel. This is happening despite the fact that CIOs and IT managers are the ones who run the information-management systems. He explains:
[L]awyers are the ones on the hook in litigation. If a court case implodes because legal counsel couldn't find critical information, or said that information didn't exist when it did, they suffer the wounds.
And lawyers are suffering more of those wounds these days because of the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that address discovery of electronically stored information. As InBoxer CEO Roger Matus told me in a 2007 interview, "The Amendments to the FRCP can be summarized in 19 words: "If electronic evidence is stored anywhere in your organization, you must produce it accurately and within a strict timetable."
But as Conry-Murray also says, it's not that CIOs and IT managers are shoved completely out of the picture. It's that CIOs and legal are getting together to ensure that the technology used to manage company information is both efficient and will allow easy and quick retrieval for litigation. Recommind VP and corporate counsel Craig Carpenter said in the InformationWeek piece:
Two years ago, if the general counsel walked into CIO's office and said, 'We need to start retiring data,' the CIO would've politely told him to pound sand. Today that conversation goes quite a bit differently.