A year after they were adopted, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure addressing discovery of electronically stored information are still a pain to many IT departments, according to a Computerworld story published Monday. The problem isn't that the new rules require companies to keep more information than they were before. The problem is that companies, and IT departments in particular, now have to locate what they do have quickly and be able to produce it as evidence.
Howard Nirken, a partner at Austin law firm DuBois, Bryant & Campbell says:
[FRCP] has made their lives incredibly complicated. IT is now responsible for immediately locating electronic files that can exist just about anywhere -- in networks, in people's personal computers [or] on any electronic media you can imagine.
The new rules have resulted in increased spending on e-discovery systems and archiving solutions as well, the story says. According to IDC analyst Laura DuBois, sales of such solutions will jump from $631 million last year to $1.37 billion in 2011.
And the news is not all bad. Take the experience of the Village of Niles, Ill., for example. Computerworld reports:
[T]he revised rules led city officials to decree that all e-mails to and from city offices are official documents and subject to legal review. That policy change quickly eased the city's e-mail storage and management burden by reducing the number of nonbusiness e-mails that pass through its systems, MIS director Bill Shaw said. "It's had a reduction in our e-mail and an increase in productivity," he noted.