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Points Worth Considering Prior to Implementing SharePoint 2013 as an eDiscovery Solution

SharePoint 2013 has an expanded set of features designed to add to its value as a platform for eDiscovery applications. But organizations considering SharePoint 2013 for this role should keep some points in mind.

Point One: eDiscovery Features aren’t worth much, if a procedure to successfully implement them is not present

SharePoint-Videos offers a set of training content on Records Management with SharePoint 2013. This training in this set is led by John Holliday, who is an attorney, and a widely acknowledged subject matter expert on Records Management as well as on SharePoint. The real value of this set, in my opinion, is the description of a records management process, which it provides.

In contrast, eDiscovery in SharePoint 2013, which is available on the Office Dev Center web site, presents the eDiscovery features of SharePoint 2013. But these features won’t amount to much of a benefit unless they are included within an implementation plan, complete with a set of correct procedures to deliver on reasonable expectations.

Point Two: There are other solutions on the market designed, from ground up, to deliver on a need for an eDiscovery feature, with, or without SharePoint

In 2013 Gartner, Inc. published a Magic Quadrant for eDiscovery solutions. This report will be updated in June of this year. Anyone reviewing the report should note the conspicuous absence of Microsoft from any of the quadrants. Is this to say a decision to build an eDiscovery solution on SharePoint is not a promising approach? Not necessarily, but, without a plan, and a set of procedures, not only are the SharePoint 2013 features supporting eDiscovery not worth much, but other methods have been well received by no less authoritative group than Gartner. So it may make sense to look for an out of the box solution capable of providing the momentum required to produce a useful set of eDiscovery procedures for an organization.

Point Three: Implementing an eDiscovery set of procedures requires organizational change and adoption

eDiscovery is not unlike any other set of office automation procedures. If SharePoint 2013 users are to successfully participate in an eDiscovery effort, they must adopt the set of eDiscovery procedures and stop using older methods of building sites, adding documents to libraries, etc. This effort, if it is to be successful, must be sustained with, among other things, a user training program.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, any organization seriously considering an implementation of eDiscovery should carefully consider the ramifications of each of the above points. Does your organization present any others worth considering? Please contact us with any others you think other organizations should know about.

Ira Michael Blonder

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