Research Says E-Mail Discovery a Drain on IT Resources

Lora Bentley

E-mail recovery requests, whether litigation- or audit-related or simply an end user request, have increased dramatically, according to a new report from Osterman Research. The study, sponsored by archiving software vendor Fortiva, revealed that businesses with more than 1,000 employees are averaging 37 legal discovery requests a year, 37 business requests, 25 audit requests, and more than 100 requests per year from end users.


That's not surprising, what with the plethora of regulatory requirements surrounding e-mail archiving today. What did surprise me, however, is the finding that 75 percent of those surveyed are still relying on backup tapes to fulfill discovery requests. Using that approach, the report says,

...retrieving raw e-mail data for a single legal discovery request takes almost a month. Since this does not take into account the time required for a legal review of the data, IT teams may also be required to spend additional time supporting the legal discovery review.

Other interesting findings:

  • One in four businesses surveyed has delayed a business or IT initiative in order to meet legal discovery requirements.
  • For each discovery request, over half of the time spent by IT (58 percent) is spent gathering, restoring and searching through backups, while the remainder is spent finding and searching through PST files (25 percent) and searching through the e-mail server (17 percent).
  • IT departments bear the bulk of the costs of recovering data for legal discovery, representing an average of 62 percent of the total costs involved.

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Sep 11, 2007 2:01 AM Death By Email Blog Death By Email Blog  says:
E-Discovery Drains IT Department Resources IT departments respond to an average of 191 email search and discovery requests each year, according to an survey released last week by Osterman Research for Fortiva. As if that isn't bad enough, the real shocker, which was pointed out Reply

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