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Survey Shows Increasing Gap Between Legal and IT Departments

Recommind, a software vendor with several e-discovery products, last week released the results of a survey showing that collaboration and communication between corporate legal departments and IT departments is on the wane.

The press release doesn't specify how many companies, or what kind of companies, were surveyed, other than to say that respondents were "senior IT managers at enterprises averaging 13,000 employees." But the results are interesting.

Some highlights:

  • In 2009, 40 percent of respondents stated that their IT department considered e-discovery to be a high to very high priority; in 2010, that number has dropped to 26 percent.
  • 72 percent of respondents report that their IT and legal teams meet once a quarter or less; 52 percent meet once a year or less and 23 percent never meet at all.
  • When it comes to actually implementing e-discovery processes, the focus of each department is also quite different: The primary goal of the IT department is “executing as quickly as possible” (35 percent), while the primary goal of the legal department is “complying with federal regulations and court orders” (61 percent).

At the Legal Project Management blog, Paul Easton endorses the notion of companies hiring "legal support managers" to fill the role of liaison between the two departments, and at Project Counsel, they've even found a way to tie this sort of disconnect to the Jerome Kerviel/SocGen scandal.

In-housers: do you feel like IT is there to support you when you need it? Do any of you have your own "mini-IT" department within legal? And law firm lawyers: Do you ever find yourselves stuck in the middle between your client's legal and IT folks? Anyone have any concrete suggestions on how to improve the working relationship?

Posted by Eric Lipman on June 23, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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