Data automation, preservation and GDPR in the age of information governance

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Reflecting on our recent event with Microsoft and Netrix in Chicago


As Big Data continues to grow, the worlds of information governance, eDiscovery, privacy and security merge while companies try to figure out how to manage all aspects of that data.  In the past, this management existed in specific divisional silos, with separate, manually-developed tracking solutions. This can only work for so long… We are beginning to see issues as regulations and legal requirements span across all of these disciplines.

On March 29, we partnered with Microsoft and Netrix for an education session at the Microsoft Technology Center in Chicago centered on Office 365, legal hold in the age of big data, upcoming GDPR preparations, and, more generally, how cost-effective information governance truly brings it all together.

Legal hold must keep pace with the growth of data. According to IBM, “every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.” (It’s ok to take a moment to let that sink in.) And according to Cisco, “cloud data center traffic will exceed 14 zettabytes in 2020, an increase of 262 percent from 2015.” It’s simultaneously becoming easier and harder to manage that data, particularly when it comes to legal hold. New technology tools hit the market, starting several years ago. These systems can integrate behind the firewall and help with much more than just legal hold – they also enable organizations to manage their data proactively, from the beginning.

This evolution in data management easily ties to the current data debate in Europe. With the GDPR (which is a wide-ranging, sweeping change to european privacy rights) coming in May 2018, we can expect to see our European cousin gain more rights and control over their data, increased transparency in data processing and the right to erasure of data (or the right to be forgotten). This regulation applies to all businesses and companies that are doing business in the European Union and provides additional accountability obligations for businesses.

So how does this all (Office 365, data management and ongoing privacy debates) tie together?

It comes down to this: information management is more important now than ever. And that concern is only increasing.

Our industry has long relied on the EDRM as the best, most holistic way to explain eDiscovery.

What we have and are finding is that corporations need support far to the left of the EDRM. Good information governance policy and technology tools can save an incredible amount of time and money (while significantly reducing risk). The numbers depend on the industry and size of the organization, but in terms of risk mitigation and value addition, early information assessment and governance are low-hanging fruit.

Generally, we know the future of data exists in the cloud. We also know that transition will take time and require highly qualified experts to develop new policy. But those statements can easily apply to the general public. When it comes to the legal, eDiscovery space, we must consider the additional challenges I mentioned earlier.

In our industry, with the evolution of technology and expanding data, transparency is more important now than ever. Robust data management policy, as well as reporting and transparent hosting/processing assists in this.

Our eTERAn experts thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to speak last Wednesday. If you missed the event and would like information on future events, or would like to sign up for a technology demo, please email!


Written by Chris Hurlebaus, Director, Client Engagement. Chris can be reached at

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