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Surveys Indicate Information Is Top Business Priority, Yet Organizations Struggle to Meet E-discovery Requirements


PALO ALTO, Calif., HP today announced new survey findings indicating that while organizations cite information as their highest business priority in 2009, less than half of business decision-makers have a high confidence level in the quality and accessibility of information within their organizations.(1)

In addition, the research found that approximately 40 percent of companies are hindered by a lack of in-house expertise and an unclear information strategy. Organizations realize that getting the right information at the right time is critical to their business success, but often find it difficult to justify investing in information-related projects.(1)

Research showed that cost reduction and compliance were considered among the most important business goals for companies.(1) However, most organizations remain ill-equipped to manage information for electronic discovery (e-discovery) requests in a timely and cost-effective manner. This is due to the lack of a proactive strategy, solutions and funding to properly address requests.(2)

When asked which “information-centric” projects they would spend on in the next two years, respondents noted document workflow transformation, records management and e-discovery/compliance.(1)

Obstacles to implementing an e-discovery solution

E-discovery requirements are continuously evolving, and companies must stay compliant with regulations to avoid costly legal fines. Typical e-discovery requirements involve producing specific business information based on requested dates and subject matter.

However, companies are still struggling with these fundamental requirements, primarily because they don’t understand the requirements for responding to e-discovery requests. In addition, they lack the funding for the right technology solutions to support finding the information they need. More than half of respondents from small and medium-sized businesses cited a lack of understanding of e-discovery requirements as the main reason for not establishing an effective e-discovery strategy.(2)

While there is a general awareness of the risks involved in not implementing an operational archiving strategy, many organizations lack the knowledge, funding and infrastructure to do so. More than 40 percent of companies said their main concern regarding e-discovery was the risk – legal and financial – of failing to produce documents in a timely manner. The lack of a strong business case to justify the investment to begin an information project was noted by 55 percent of organizations.(1)

“Customers can avoid costly legal fees and reduce business risks by having a proactive e-discovery strategy,” said Jonathan Martin, vice president and general manager, Information Management, Software and Solutions, HP. “A proactive e-discovery solution includes a clearly defined records management process, an established information retention system and the support of the appropriate personnel within the organization. These all must be in place before the need for e-discovery arises.”

What organizations find most valuable with electronically stored information

Of the respondents surveyed, nearly 80 percent recognized a need to address at least three types of electronically stored information with an e-discovery solution: emails (89 percent), office documents (78 percent) and data in databases (72 percent).(2)

As much as 80 percent of content within organizations today is “unstructured,” or information that is not held within a database. This unstructured information is often subject to e-discovery requests under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Very few organizations said they would be looking to address multimedia information sources through e-discovery. This raises the question of how organizations would deal with the complexities of an e-discovery request that includes other forms of unstructured content including text messages, video, audio and social media content.

E-discovery best practices

Nearly half of the survey respondents were unfamiliar with the electronic discovery reference model (EDRM), which establishes best practices for e-discovery.(2)

The stages of the EDRM include information management; identification; preservation and collection; processing, review and analysis; production; and presentation.

Of the stages set out by the EDRM, the one that respondents were most looking to improve through technology was information management. Fifty-one percent chose it as their main priority, followed by identification, at 47 percent.(2)

Better equipped with HP solutions
HP offers a portfolio of hardware, software and services to manage information, improve its quality, and respond to e-discovery, compliance and other government regulation requests.

* HP Information Management consulting, solution design and implementation services allow organizations to capture, manage and deliver information to the right place at the right time. These services help reduce costs and mitigate business risk.
* HP Information Governance and Information Quality Management services protect, manage and improve the quality of data, while lowering the cost of managing that data.
* HP Integrated Archive Platform consolidates and centralizes emails, files and documents into a single platform for scalable content archiving. The solution enables rapid legal discovery response and provides long-term information retention to help manage the risks and control the costs of the e-discovery process.
* HP TRIM software is a document and records management system that reduces risks associated with non-compliance of legislative and regulatory requirements while increasing security, data integrity and productivity.

More information about HP Information Management Solutions, a new HP Information management best practices paper, and the complete survey results are available at

Research methodology

Two research surveys were commissioned:

* A February 2009 RONIN Corporation survey of the impact of information on current business priorities. Telephone interviews with 142 business and technology executives in organizations with more than 10,000 employees were conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore. Interviews spanned industries such as manufacturing, finance, wholesale, retail, construction and government.
* HP conducted an online survey on the barriers, priorities and requirements associated with establishing an e-discovery strategy. Respondents were predominantly senior executives based in the United States.

About HP

HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

(1) “HP Information Projects Research,” RONIN Corporation, February 2009.
(2) “E-Discovery Barriers, Priorities and Requirements Survey,” HP, December 2008.


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