According to the latest Recommind survey, UK firms are still not ready for e-disclosure despite the increasing prevalence of relevant requests
Recommind has announced the results of its second Annual UK eDisclosure Survey. It reveals that that the number of e-disclosure requests experienced by UK enterprises continues to rise steadily. One in two businesses said they had seen an increase as compared to four out of ten in 2009, and that trend is more pronounced in the financial sector where seven out of ten firms reported an increase.
Despite the increase, two thirds of those surveyed still dedicate less than 5% of their IT budget to e-disclosure (with nine out of ten dedicating less than 10%), while 32% are still not able to search their e-mail archives.
The survey was of CIOs and IT directors at 100 UK organisations with more than 1,000 employees and was conducted by Vanson Bourne in April 2010.
In Recommind's view, even those organisations surveyed that do have some e-disclosure capabilities are handicapped in what types of data they can access and how quickly they can do so. Just half of respondents are able to search non-email data, while only 41% have the ability to instantly preserve and collect relevant information from the whole company and just 15% can instantly assess the cost and risk of a particular e-disclosure event. The survey reveals that 17% have no e-disclosure capabilities whatsoever in place.
Compared to the result of last year's research, legal departments now have a greater role to play in the decision-making process when it comes to provisioning for e-disclosure. In one quarter of enterprises surveyed, the legal department had ultimate budget responsibility, compared to 14& in 2009. Responsibility seems to have shifted from the financial department, which last year held the e-disclosure budget at 31% of companies, but this year the figure has dropped sharply to just 7%. The operations team had ultimate budget responsibility in just 4% of enterprises, while an alarming 13% admitted that no one was in charge of this area.
'The influence of the legal department is clearly growing when it comes to e-disclosure – and given their expertise, this is a step in the right direction,' said Simon Price, European director for Recommind. 'In an ideal situation, the legal and IT departments would work closely together to set priorities and ensure any technology processes and systems are up to the task. What is still worrying however is that 13% claim no one holds budget responsibility in their organisations, suggesting that there is perhaps no budget or the approach is to simply deal with any e-disclosure requests as and when they arise – a dangerous tactic given that a single lawsuit can result in the collection and review of terabytes of data, and time frames are often extremely tight.'