The End of the 'IT Burden' Defense

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When being sued, one of the excuses that many companies have come fall back on is known as the "IT burden" defense. The basic premise is that locating the information sought by the court puts too much of an e-discovery burden on the company's IT resources.

This defense invariably results in some uncomfortable moments for IT executives because it usually requires them to testify in court about how inept they in managing data.

The days when that was a plausible excuse are coming to an end anyway. Index Engines has created a Unified Discovery Platform that indexes all the information across an enterprise at a rate of roughly 1TB per hour per node on the network.

According to Jim McGann, vice president of information discovery for Index Engines, the company has essentially created an operating environment for indexing that makes it possible to immediately find any piece of data hiding in the enterprise, including that on backup tapes.

McGann says that with the platform, it's feasible for IT organizations to respond to almost any legal query without wasting massive amounts of time manually looking for data that might be relevant to a particular case.

Of course, this creates more pressure to create an effective data-retention policy because saying that it's too difficult to find data just won't fly anymore. Naturally, not every lawyer will be excited about the Unified Discovery Platform, especially corporate counsels that have to defend their companies a lot. But at least the IT executives testifying in these cases can look a whole lot more competent, or best of all, not be called to testify at all because all the information has already been made available.

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