Big Jump Predicted in Use of e-Discovery, CompTIA Survey Reveals

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Organizations will increase their use of electronic discovery, according to new research from CompTIA, the leading trade association for the world’s information technology (IT) industry.

The CompTIA study shows 88 percent of attorneys surveyed expect law firms to engage in e-discovery processes more frequently as more and more cases involve electronic information.

Among more than 650 IT professionals surveyed, 53 percent expect the use of e-discovery within their organizations to increase over the next few years.

E-discovery conventionally refers to the discovery process in civil litigation using electronically stored information. However, many firms routinely engage in data collection and informal investigations related to personnel matters, violations of company policies and security breaches that never involve the legal system but may nonetheless fall under the umbrella of e-discovery.

The CompTIA survey identified situations that most often trigger the use of e-discovery. They include:

* Investigating an employee suspected of violating company rules (cited by 66 percent of survey respondents)
* Security breach stemming from an outside threat (62 percent)
* Pending lawsuit (60 percent)
* Intentional internal security breach (53 percent)
* Unintentional internal security breach (44 percent)

Fifty percent of organizations surveyed have already developed an e-discovery strategy, either partial or comprehensive. Another 26 percent indicate that their organization has no official e-discovery strategy but have engaged in e-discovery processes informally. Among organizations that have yet to develop an e-discovery strategy, cost and expertise are cited as the primary reasons.

“Many organizations lack expertise in this emerging area,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. “That’s significant because the increasingly connected and digital world in which companies operate means the number of situations calling for e-discovery will only grow.”

Given this rising need for more expertise, more opportunities should exist for IT solution providers with the right skills and expertise.

“IT companies that offer services such as security, data storage and archiving may find opportunities to expand their business and their client base by becoming an e-discovery resource,” said Herbert.

Among the steps IT firms can take to enhance their e-discovery credentials: get employees trained in e-discovery; stay up to date on the regulatory environment; and learn and follow industry best practices for conducting e-discovery.

The CompTIA study E-Discovery Trends and Practices offers insights into current understand e-discovery practices, policies, and training among both IT professionals and attorneys. The online survey was administered during the fourth quarter of 2009 with 665 IT professionals and 271 attorneys participated in the U.S.-based survey. The complete study is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the report at or by contacting

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