The industry’s most extensive study of preservation practices finds processes still lack maturity
Zapproved, a pioneer in developing cloud-hosted software for corporate legal departments, today published the Legal Hold and Data Preservation Benchmark Survey 2015, the latest edition of the industry’s most extensive survey series focused on legal data preservation and collections practices. Conducted by The Steinberg Group, LLC, the study surveys 421 professionals who currently oversee legal hold and collections at their organizations, and provides deep insights into prevailing practices and perceptions surrounding the preservation of data related to litigation holds.
Some key findings from the survey:
- More than half of survey respondents still use manual processes for tracking litigation holds, and 3.5 percent communicate litigation holds verbally; nearly half of respondents now have a software system in place.
- 34 percent of the survey respondents have had to defend their preservation efforts, a fact that underscores the importance of defensible processes.
- 56 percent of respondents consider their organization to be “at risk” when it comes to legal holds.
- When evaluating efforts to create a “culture of compliance” through training, 75 percent of participants say their organization offers training in data preservation, but only 36 percent feel custodians understand their responsibilities.
- When comparing their data preservation process to peer organizations, 62 percent indicate they do “better than most”; however, this figure jumps to 80 percent among respondents using an automated system.
- When automating the legal holds process, organizations report a range of benefits and on average perform nearly 20 percentage points better in key actions tied to best practices such as issuing reminders, custodian follow up, and handling departing employees.
“Legal hold and data preservation practices still represent an area of potential risk and rising costs for many organizations,” said Brad Harris, Vice President of Products at Zapproved. “While we are seeing more enterprises deploy automated tools to get a better handle on their preservation practices, this year’s Legal Hold and Data Preservation Benchmark Survey shows that reliance on manual processes is still the norm. Hopefully the survey results will raise awareness and reinvigorate efforts to move to more defensible practices.”
Download the complete report: Legal Hold and Data Preservation Benchmark Survey 2015.