PSS "Information Governance Process Maturity Model" Offers Roadmap for Improved E-Discovery and Information Management

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New information governance framework from PSS Systems helps legal, RIM and IT departments define a unified approach to rigorous discovery and defensible disposal

PSS Systems, the leading provider of information governance solutions, today announced a new framework for organizations to benchmark their core e-discovery and information management processes. PSS's "Information Governance Process Maturity Model" gives companies a clear roadmap for eliminating unnecessary discovery and data management risk and cost.

Using this model, companies are mapping their level of information governance process maturity to core e-discovery and information management processes. Discovery processes include holds, collections, review, early cost assessment and reporting. Information management processes include retention schedule creation and management, routine and legacy data disposal and policy audit. For each process, companies can evaluate their current maturity from a Level 1, manual, unstructured process, through to a Level 4, automated, integrated, enterprise-wide process.

After assessing their level of maturity in each information governance process, organizations can plot a course to achieve rigorous discovery and defensible disposal. A Level 4 process unites Legal, RIM, IT and Employees in a holds and collections workflow; enables a robust IT and employee compliance program; increases outside counsel efficiency; provides an accurate information inventory; sustains a global retention program; enables defensible data disposal, discovery cost control and optimized IT planning.

At this highest level of Information Governance Process Maturity, organizations can eliminate unnecessary discovery and data management risk and cost. Discovery risks eliminated with Level 4 process maturity include legal not identifying custodians, data sources not scoped correctly, data on hold modified or disposed, data overlooked or mishandled in collection, and legal unable to defend its discovery audit trail. Additionally, the model shows how to save hundreds of millions of dollars in data management costs by instituting Level 4 enterprise processes between Legal, RIM and IT that eliminate IT’s ‘save everything’ policy.

This new model was introduced last week at the Corporate Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC) 2010 Summit, a two-day information governance conference sponsored by PSS Systems, Huron Consulting, LECG and Ryley Carlock & Applewhite. CGOC members are executives from leading companies across industries. Summit attendees from Financial Services included Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Zions First National Bank; Oil and Gas attendees included Exxon Mobil, BP, ConocoPhillips; Pharmaceutical attendees included Abbott and Novartis.

Through close collaboration, the Information Governance Process Maturity model is closely aligned with the recently announced Information Management Reference Model. Examples of how the reference and process maturity models can be used:

1. To initiate discussions across stakeholders on their mutual dependencies. For example, IT is unable to dispose of data without clear, reliable guidance on the legal duties and the value of information. Often, legal and business staff don't realize this dependency or the cost impact on a company as data volumes grow 50% a year or more. Legal, on other hand, is ill-equipped to understand the very dynamic environments of IT and business information creation, and is therefore challenged to apply and meet legal duties for information that legal manages for the company.

2. To help companies define the intersection points and areas of responsibility across information governance stakeholders.

3. To help companies begin to establish criteria and processes to define and communicate legal duties, to assess business value of information, and to retire data and systems.

4. To define and determine the management capabilities needed in relevant workflow applications such as legal holds and RIM systems and content repositories such as ECM and applications. These capabilities might include the ability to automate legal holds, apply a retention schedule, extract data for discovery, secure and segregate information for privacy, and dispose of data routinely.

More information about the Information Governance Process Maturity Model can be found at: http://www.pss-systems.com.

About PSS Systems
PSS Systems helps companies eliminate unnecessary legal risk, and discovery and data management costs. Its Atlas Suite is the recognized leader in legal information governance with customers like Abbott, BASF, BP, Citigroup, ConocoPhillips, First Data, GE, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, Travelers and Williams. PSS is the innovator that started the legal holds market in 2004 and has the largest concentration of customers and domain experts anywhere. PSS is a trusted business partner to its customers, offering expert insight, best-in-class software, and continuous innovation to address emerging challenges. PSS founded and sponsors the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC) as a part of its commitment to advancing corporate retention and preservation practices. The company is based in Mountain View, California. For more information, visit http://www.pss-systems.com.

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Leyl Black

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