Access and Feeds

The Evolution of Governance, Records Management, and e-Discovery

By Dick Weisinger

Governance, records management, and e-discovery are three interrelated disciplines that deal with the creation, storage, organization, and use of information in various contexts. They have evolved to address the challenges and opportunities in the digital age.

Governance refers to the policies and procedures that guide how information is managed and controlled within an organization. It covers aspects such as security, privacy, compliance, risk, and value. Governance helps organizations to ensure that their information is trustworthy, accessible, and useful for their business objectives and legal obligations.

Records management refers to the practices and systems that enable the identification, classification, retention, and disposition of records. Records are information that has content, context, and structure, and that serves as evidence of business transactions and decisions. Records management helps organizations to preserve and protect their records, and to dispose of them when they are no longer needed.

e-Discovery refers to the process of identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, reviewing, and producing information that is relevant and responsive to a legal matter. e-Discovery helps organizations to comply with their discovery obligations, and to reduce the costs and risks associated with litigation and investigations.

These three disciplines have evolved in response to various drivers, such as:

  • Technological innovations: New technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotic process automation, and vertical customized solutions have enabled organizations to create, store, and analyze more information than ever before, and to automate and optimize their information management and e-discovery processes.
  • Legal and regulatory changes: New laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), have imposed new requirements and standards for how organizations handle and disclose their information, and have increased the penalties and sanctions for non-compliance and spoliation.
  • Business and market trends: New opportunities and challenges, such as digital transformation, remote work, data monetization, and cyberattacks, have influenced how organizations use and protect their information, and how they leverage it for competitive advantage and value creation.

These drivers have also highlighted the need for a holistic and integrated approach to governance, records management, and e-discovery, as these disciplines are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. For example, effective governance can facilitate records management and e-discovery by providing clear and consistent policies and procedures, while effective records management and e-discovery can support governance by ensuring compliance and reducing risks.

The evolution of governance, records management, and e-discovery is not over, as new drivers and challenges will continue to emerge and shape the future of information management. Therefore, organizations need to be proactive and agile in adapting and innovating their practices and systems and to partner with reliable and experienced providers who can offer guidance, support, and solutions. By doing so, organizations can harness the power and potential of their information, and achieve their goals and objectives.

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