Global Compliance Efforts Launch New Breed of IT Professional


Record retention and e-discovery requirements are tough no matter where you are, but they become extremely complicated if you're a company that does business internationally.


Recently, Marie-Charlotte Patterson, marketing VP at AXS One, took time to explain just how complicated things can get:

In many European countries, the records must be retained in the country in which they were created. If you want the records to be moved outside of the country, certain things have to happen.... Europe says that because of the way in which the U.S. views records, European records, under normal circumstances, are not allowed to go to the U.S. This becomes quite complicated in the event of litigation. ...If an e-discovery order was made in North America, you'd need some way to access the records. From a technology perspective, you'd need to consider how you might be able to comply with both requirements.

And developing the processes that will accomplish compliance is not the job of the IT department or of software vendors, she said. It's the responsibility of the business owners, whose job titles vary depending on the organization. It could be anyone from records management all the way up through the general counsel's office. IT implements the technology that ensures the processes happen once they have been developed.


Interestingly, Patterson said, vendors have seen a trend emerging as global compliance initiatives continue:

One of the results of a changing regulatory environment is a new breed of IT person who will report up through the general counsel's office and who acts as a knowledgeable liaison between the keepers of the technology and the people who are developing the processes.