Mark Diamond is founder and CEO of Contoural, which provides records information management and litigation readiness consulting services to more than 20% of the Fortune 500, as well as smaller companies and public sector organizations.

Companies are drowning in e-mail, files and other types of electronic information, and the flood of data is driving up both costs and risk related to the discovery process during litigation. Yet many organizations are frustrated as their attempts to address this problem get bogged down. Fixing this issue requires a group effort among a number of different stakeholders within the company, as well as letting go of well-intended but ineffective strategies.

T&R: Why is accumulating too much electronic data a problem now?
Companies are creating more electronic documents than ever. The average employee sends and receives more than 167 e-mails per day, and saves many of those on the e-mail server or on his or her desktop. Unstructured data, such as loose files and images, are growing at a pace of more than 40% per year. Worse, organizations are doing a poor job of deleting older information. Electronic information accumulates like snow on a glacier, with a new layer added every year.

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