On May 31, 2012, I presented a webinar in the SLA Legal Division’s TNT Professional Development Series, “Opportunity Opens Doors for Information Pros in eDiscovery”. One of the comments made during the Q&A portion was that the activities surrounding eDiscovery were not traditional library roles.

That is very true, the premise of my presentation was that traditional activities are limited in opportunity and eDiscovery is an area that information professionals can move into with their capabilities in information organization and management skills.

After the presentation concluded and I began sifting through email I was alerted to a new article from the Organization of Legal Professionals that presented some of growing problems in the realm of eDiscovery. “Is eDiscovery Really the Problem or Is It the Foundation of Our Data Management Strategy, or Lack Thereof!” by Linda Sharp does a good job of diving into the evolving field of eDiscovery.

When information professionals are trying to add value to their organization’s a great way to help is with cost control measures in eDiscovery. The sheer volume of data both structured and unstructured makes it essential for companies to know where their data is and how to efficiently retrieve it.

The article does a good job of explaining why this is a problem and how it differs from the analog days. Throwing analog methods to electronically stored information through technology solutions, isn’t enough.

As the author suggests, an enterprise strategy is a possible solution:

What if compliance, records, IT and legal could actually collaborate on a holistic approach to resolve the issues surrounding enterprise data management? This strategy would provide the organization with a total information governance solution. It would reduce the costs of the IT infrastructure, eliminate information in keeping with records and legal policies, as well as provide a streamlined process for handling information.

An information professional who can manage the team, understand the records retention issues and set governance policies as well as assist in the efficient collection of data is an essential member of any collaborative solution that gets on the front end of eDiscovery cost containment effort.

Constance Ard, June 4, 2012