It’s typically a good idea to take vendor surveys with a grain of salt; they tend to be slanted and unscientific. Not so with Symantec; they have actual scientific surveys with margins of error and everything.
Not to say, of course, that they’re completely unbiased; recall in this case that Symantec purchased Clearwell earlier this year in an attempt to improve its ranking after a recent Gartner Magic Quadrant on eDiscovery vendors.
That said, its Information Retention and eDiscovery Survey has some interesting points to be made — not the least of which is actual evidence from users that implementing an information retention policy saves money.
- Respondents using best practices reported a 64% faster response time with a 2.3 times higher success rate when responding to eDiscovery requests.
- They were 78% less likely to be sanctioned by the courts and 47% less likely to find themselves in a compromised legal position.
- They were also 20% less likely to have fines levied against them. In addition, they were 45% less likely to disclose too much information.
- Nearly half of respondents do not have an information retention plan in place.
- 30% are only discussing how to do so.
- 14% have no plan to do so.
- When asked why they don’t have information retention programs, respondents indicated the top reasons are: lack of need (41%), too costly (38%); nobody has been chartered with that responsibility (27%); don’t have time (26%); and lack of expertise (21%).
The part about “too costly” is particularly telling in light of the results.
Respondents who said they’d been asked to respond to a legal, compliance or regulatory request for electronically stored information reported the following results:
- Completely failed to fulfill the request 10%
- Partially failed to fulfill the request 10%
- Successfully fulfilled the request, but more slowly than the requestor would like 25%
- Successfully fulfilled the request in a timeframe that is acceptable to the requestor 35%
- Damage to Enterprise reputation or embarrassment 42%
- Fines 41%
- Compromised legal position 38%
- Sanctions by courts 28%
- Hampered our ability to make decisions in a timely fashion 26%
- Raised our profile as a potential litigation target 25%