New PSS Systems Atlas Module Closes Gap Between Legal Obligations and IT Processes for Data Management

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Unique Legal Governance Portal Enables Consistent Communications and Compliance

IT organizations are faced with significant pressures to reduce data management costs, and communications between the legal department and IT are ongoing challenges in most enterprises

PSS Systems today announced Policy Atlas for IT, a new module of its market-leading Atlas legal governance suite. The new module is the only legal governance portal for IT; it provides a persistent self-service portal for IT staff to easily determine current legal obligations for data such as legal holds, retention schedules, and discovery requests by system, data class, and employee. The new module is available with PSS Systems' Atlas LCC software, the gold standard for legal holds and collections.

Closed-loop processes between the legal department and IT are critical but difficult because the number of active legal holds on data has risen steeply since the revisions to the FRCP, along with the amount of data generated by companies. Large IT organizations with thousands of staff involved in moving, managing, and archiving data across thousands of systems and servers in hundreds of locations present tremendous communications challenges for comparatively smaller legal departments and pose significant risk of failure. The challenge is compounded by mounting cost-cutting pressures which make "save everything" a far less desirable approach to data and risk management. As companies look for ways to slash costs, the millions of dollars spent on managing unnecessary data come sharply into focus. Absent of clear, reliable communications from the legal department on specific legal duties to preserve or retain information, IT departments may not have sufficient information to determine what to retain and dispose in their data management operations - left to guesswork, this leads to keeping far too much data or dangerously too little.

"IT organizations are faced with significant pressures to reduce data management costs, and communications between the legal department and IT are ongoing challenges in most enterprises," said Vivian Tero, Program Manager, Compliance Infrastructure, at IDC. "Policy Atlas for IT is an important complement to Atlas LCC for legal holds and should help companies reduce cost and risk."

Policy Atlas for IT provides a reliable and efficient source of discovery, privacy, and retention rules, including:

  • Self-service to look up legal holds and collections by system
  • Self-service look up of legal holds on departing employees to properly disposition assets
  • Collection request and workload management and reporting
  • Cataloging of IT assets by their preservation, privacy, and discovery capabilities
  • Dashboards for IT management summarize collection workloads
  • Dashboards for IT staff show open discovery requests and volume
  • Retention schedules, privacy and data protection procedures by system and data classes

This new module, which links seamlessly with Atlas LCC and Atlas ERM, presents governance requirements through an IT lens for information. It eliminates duplicate entry and ensures that the governance instructions issued by litigation attorneys, privacy officers, and records compliance staff are instantly and persistently communicated. Workflow makes compliance work much easier for all stakeholders and ensures that details and duties do not fall through the communication gap.

"Without clear instructions on what to retain and what to dispose, the IT organization is fundamentally unable to manage data cost efficiently. Vast amounts of data and the IT operation itself are hostage to a poor communications process which drives up both cost and risk," said Deidre Paknad, CEO of PSS Systems. "Asking IT to save everything to address legal holds shifts and increases the cost of discovery compliance. With Atlas, companies can both reduce the true cost of compliance to the company and reduce the risk of non-compliance."

Policy Atlas for IT is available with Atlas LCC and Atlas ERM.

About PSS Systems
PSS Systems is the leader in legal governance systems, and its Atlas software suite is the standard for legal holds and retention policy management. The company established itself as the innovator and market leader when it was first to introduce synchronized legal holds and retention policy management software nearly two years before revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Atlas software suite includes Atlas LCC to streamline legal holds and collection processes; Atlas ERM to enable retention programs across disparate countries, business units, information sources, and systems; Atlas Policy Enforcement Services to automate retention and preservation policy enforcement across those systems; and Policy Atlas for IT to efficiently manage data and systems in compliance with legal and retention mandates. In January 2004, PSS Systems founded the CGOC, a well-regarded expert practitioners' community focused on retention, preservation, and privacy, with a full program of educational events, working groups, a professional network, and a resource portal. PSS Systems is privately-held and headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Zurich. For more information, visit http://www.pss-systems.com.

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Trish Borrmann
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