As the world embraces a more collaborative way of working and uses new applications like Slack to communicate with one another, there is a corollary impact on other areas of the business such as legal and how ediscovery and information governance are managed.
WHAT DOES EDISCOVERY HAVE TO DO WITH SLACK?
Originally, ediscovery was mostly about email—but that’s because most business communications used to happen over email.
SLACK IS WHERE IT'S AT!
Today, as you know, that’s no longer the case. Especially with the current upswing in remote working due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizations have shifted a huge portion of their internal communications over to collaboration platforms like Slack. That means that Slack now includes all kinds of work information, such as:
messages from managers who are checking in with their workers, answering questions, and providing feedback about employees’ performance;
conversations among teams who are designing new products and services; and
document drafts and revisions that employees are circulating for edits and comments.
We could list a hundred more examples, but you know what we’re talking about!
The shift over to Slack is great news for you and for all of the people who are now discovering how much faster, easier, and more effective it is to chat on Slack than it is to send emails back and forth.
DUTY TO PRESERVE EXTENDS TO SLACK DATA
But what’s less awesome is that most organizations haven’t even thought about how they’re going to preserve such content when obligated to do so, let alone extract data from Slack and produce it for use in litigation or regulatory disputes. We’re talking about a huge volume of information that’s potentially relevant to every court dispute that a company using Slack might have to litigate in the years to come. That company is obligated by the rules of court to save information about ongoing or reasonably anticipated litigation so that it can provide that data to the requesting parties. Unfortunately, for many organizations the only answer to complying with their preservation obligations is to “preserve everything forever” -- a tactic that only exacerbates the problem of data volumes growing unchecked.
And if a company’s legal team hasn't figured out what they’re going to do about Slack discovery, they’re setting themselves up for trouble.