(Picture taken on September 7th from the Acela train on the way into New York with a Sony Ericsson k750i camera phone)
I have spent a week in New York and Boston speaking with journalists and analysts and as well as marvelling at the food and networking that goes on over the lunch table (check out Michael’s on 24 West 55th Street, a who's who of the media industry on a dozen tables!), a couple of thoughts occurred to me.
First the whole issue of eDiscovery is really soaring up the agenda; the ability to be able to find documents and prove what was communicated easily is becoming strategic. The really key word here is "easily." Law suits have become arms races; if you have a good eDiscovery system the other side will not start shelling you.
If they know you have poor systems that result in costly and time consuming searches to find communication data, watch out.While one can argue whether this type of litigious approach is good for the economy, the fact is, that’s how things work; get used to it. Particularly in the light of the new legislation coming in 1st December.
There is a further point here, and it applies to many IT issues. Putting the important factor of cost aside for a moment, if the process of obtaining information is difficult, the end result will be less thorough searches, guess work, and possibly not bothering at all.
Secondly, the fifth anniversary of 9/11, together with the reports from England of the arrests of around 30 plotting to commit similar atrocities has reminded us all of the risks of assuming that everyone is doing what they should be doing and are thinking nice thoughts. I’m sure you’ve read, the people arrested were described as ordinary people. They held down regular jobs; they were not a foreign army, they were the guy in the next cubicle.The idea repels naturally, and we don't really like to think about in those terms, but without going over the top, employers should at least review their employee screening procedures and also for all our sakes, have some record of people's communication and surfing habits.
Have it there in case you need it. Maybe, just maybe that evidence can help support a decision to intervene sooner and before an act is committed. That sounds like pretty important "eDiscovery" to me.
As I write, I am on the Acela train from Boston approaching that altered New York skyline. Reminder enough.