So, you have got your mind round this “move to the left” bit they were all talking about at LegalTech and you are clear about the importance of information management, the first stage of the EDRM diagram as a start-point (the obvious start-point if you think about it) for the collection of documents and data for litigation or for facing a regulatory investigation.
You have your custodians sorted, know how you will manage your Microsoft Office documents, may even have got your mind round the HR and accounting databases. Sorted then, ready for anything, bring it on.
The chances are that you have missed one big thing – the corporate web site and intranet. Unlike, say, individual Word files, each part of a web site depends on others. Unlike your HR or accounting database it probably lacks the tools to check its own integrity, which may depend on elements beyond your control. It probably changed frequently, with no thought as to preservation of the replaced pages, still less the ever-changing content of any database which was the source of the components of the pages. Yet your web site was customer-facing, possibly included pricing or terms of contract, and could be vital evidence in any dispute or investigation. If you think that just copying it all onto a backup tape from time to time is the answer, have a go at restoring your last backup – if, indeed you ever made one.
That is the selling message of Hanzo Archives, whose Mark Middleton came to see me in Oxford a little while back after attending a conference at which I was speaking. I came across him again at LegalTech in NewYork last week, apparently happy that he had attracted attention even in the gloomy corner of the Hilton’s third floor which had been allocated to Hanzo Archives. His observations on what he learned from the booth’s visitors are on Hanzo Archives’ blog.
It is always good to see a British company carrying initiatives to the US, as well as to mainland Europe. It will be interesting to find out how much of the LegalTech interest converts into something more.