eDiscovery: Stark Contrasts

The unlikely connection between Game of Thrones and unified eDiscovery

The unlikely connection between Game of Thrones and unified eDiscovery

WARNING: This blog post contains minor Game of Thrones spoilers. It is highly recommended that anyone reading should first watch every season in its entirety. If you are past season 1, you are probably fine, but it is still recommended to catch up. And let’s be honest; at this point you should probably be all in or all out, given that it’s been on for 6 years already!

Working at ZL and reading eDiscovery articles online is like being Bran Stark. At this point, if you are past my disclaimer, you either have no idea what I am talking about but don’t care because the thirst for Information Governance knowledge is insatiable, or you know exactly who Bran Stark is and are intrigued by my seemingly nonsensical statement. How could I be like Bran Stark? Bran has no internet… Bran has no need of eDiscovery (the trial-by-combat era got in the way of the whole eDiscovery business for centuries)… Bran is a cripple boy seeing visions of the past by connecting to magic trees, stranded somewhere in the North, far away from anyone else. And that is exactly how I am like him.

Bran, through his visions, has gained critical knowledge that can help shape the world. He is the only one who has seen the truth; and yet, because of his isolation, he has no means of communicating that information to the people who need it most. This is exactly how I felt reading an eDiscovery-focused article online the other day. The article discussed the main challenges within the realm of eDiscovery: defensibility, reliability, and cost — further noting that all three of these challenges are rooted or tied to search. I could not agree more. From a defensibility standpoint, you need to know what you are searching for and where that data resides. Data located on multiple platforms and pumped through numerous tools is a nightmare when you want to ensure you have everything and ensure that nothing is missing. If you can solve that hurdle without losing too much sleep, then you must overcome reliably searching for the data you need. How many repositories will you search? Is your search granular enough to refine the data set to the level of specificity you need? And finally, if you can manage all of that, are you solving these problems at a cost that is reasonable? Here is where I am Bran. There are so many people who have probably read a similar article who are relying on eDiscovery software for their livelihood, and so many of these people probably chalk these problems up to inescapable facts of life, shrug and mumble, “winter is coming, what can you do?” I want to shout from the North: “Hello people! Over here! I know the answers!” I just want to get the message out there: unified data governance solves those problems!

You want defensibility? We put all the files, email, IMs, and whatever other data you have into a single elastic repository, so that you know exactly what you have and can rest assured that there is only one to delete when the item’s lifecycle is over. You want to take control of the file share environment? Most companies today have little to no idea what is in their file shares. ZL can tell you what’s in there, can clean the files up, and can ingest items for full-text indexing, complex search, and permanent data control. So you also want reliability? By putting your data in one repository and using one piece of software to navigate the entirety of the EDRM, you know you are not missing anything. Additionally, you know that a single granular search on a single corpus of data, conducted all at once, will return exactly what you need… in seconds. Finally, what about cost? Well, one of my customers just shared with me that using ZL rather than their previous solution will reduce their total cost of ownership by 51%. Not bad, right?

So here I am, like Bran, with the knowledge to help. I just need to get the message out there. Hold the door for me, won’t you?

When I’m not immersed in the technical sophistication of ZL’s software or answering the needs of my venerable customers, you can probably find me watching one of my favorite sports teams. I may be a transplant to this crazy hotbed of cutting-edge technology we call Silicon Valley, but I will always root for my Braves and Falcons; hopefully, that will remind me to keep my southern charm as well! I’m not afraid to laugh and smile like I mean it, especially if there’s a nice glass of wine in my hand and friends to share it with. Suffice it to say that my other interests are slightly nerdy: I simply can’t decide if I would rather reference Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones here. As a tiebreaker, I guess I will just sign off by saying, “may the force be with us.”