Just last week, I expressed some reservations I had about moving so much of my digital life off of hard drives in my home and onto remote servers. Particularly, my worries about the security, accessibility and reliability of my data make me hesitant to make a full transition to the cloud. I wondered if this same reluctance, played out on an enterprise scale and coupled with economic and technological integration factors, was what was holding companies and other organizations back from doing the "inevitable."
Although much more applicable to the business world than me personally, government compliance issues also complicate cloud adoption. Businesses must archive data in order to stay in compliance with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley. As Kim Mays states in her "Data Archiving" definition:
Companies tied to government regulations must spend large amounts of money to meet and stay within compliance standards, which often stipulate how long the data must be retained, how quickly is must be able to be retrieved, where the data can be stored, and in what format the retrieved data should be presented.
Furthermore, companies must be able to produce any relevant information (e-mail, instant messages, other digital documents) requested in matters of litigation via eDiscovery. Virtualization may have incomplete results for searches performed in legal cases, as Mays illustrates in this example:
When a forensic examiner is searching a user's hard drive for relevant data, files contained on virtual machines might not show up during the searches. If a company is involved in litigation and they use virtualized systems, it is important that they explain the type of virtualization to the attorney and any forensic investigators so that they can make sure that all pertinent documents are retrieved.
Failure to adequately archive information or to provide incomplete information can result in severe fines and other penalties, so organizations should make sure data is appropriately captured, retrievable and complete. Motivation to avoid costly penalties while also reaping the benefits of cost-cutting server virtualization will likely help propel businesses into the cloud.
Blueprint for Cloud-Based eDiscovery" framework provides key points and guides decisions in terms of security, privacy, control, risk and cost practices at corporations and law firms looking to bring eDiscovery in-house via the cloud. If you are an IT manager or decision-maker for your organization, this "blueprint" guides you as you evaluate cloud-based eDiscovery systems to help you choose the right application."
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