Categories
Document Collaboration

Compliance First Collaboration Platform: A preferred choice of highly regulated industries

Public file-sharing tools have become an integral part of our lives, allowing us to easily store and share documents with others. However, these conventional file-sharing platforms fall short when it comes to highly regulated industries. This is primarily due to the stringent requirements and unique challenges faced by these industries.

To address these concerns, a specialized content collaboration platform that operates within a controlled environment becomes essential. Compliance-first content collaboration platforms are specialized software solutions designed to ease collaboration and ensure regulatory compliance for highly regulated industries.

Pharmaceutical, Healthcare, Automobile, Legal, BFSI, Aerospace, and Defence are a few of the highly regulated industries and often share sensitive and confidential information within and outside the organization. However, the complex and ever-changing regulatory requirements make content collaboration more challenging.

Moreover, there are multiple risks associated with digital space. Some common risk issues are:

  • Security of sensitive data stored and shared via third-party file-sharing tools. Risks associated with unauthorized access, data breaches, or data misuse can’t be ignored.
  • Privacy and confidentiality issues while sharing confidential information: These could be legal documents, contracts, and sensitive business data.
  • Third-party risks: Collaboration platforms often rely on third-party service providers for hosting, storage, and other functions. This involvement of external entities introduces additional risks that need to be assessed and managed effectively.
  • Probability of data loss due to system failure
  • Unauthorized access due to relaxed access controls

Thus, it is essential to address these common risk issues. The enterprise content collaboration platform combines functionality with compliance features to meet the needs of the industries.

 

Key Features of a Compliance-First Content Collaboration Platform

The important key features of the compliance-first content collaboration platform are:

Secured File Sharing Platform

The compliance collaboration platform prioritizes data privacy compliance and confidentiality. It employs robust measures such as:

  • End-to-end encryption to ensure sensitive information remains protected throughout the collaboration process
  • Data loss prevention mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access, leakage, or data breaches
  • Access control to restrict document access based on user roles and permissions. This ensures that secured document sharing is done only with authorized individuals.
  • Document Control and Versioning

Another key feature is the ability to provide centralized document storage and control. It allows organizations to create a centralized repository for all their documents, which enables

  • Efficient organization, retrieval, and tracking of files
  • Versioning a complete history of document changes and revisions
  • Easy tracking and reviewing of any modifications made

This feature is crucial in highly regulated industries where maintaining document integrity and traceability is essential for compliance.

Secure Collaboration and Sharing

Effective collaboration is a cornerstone of business success. But it must be balanced with the need for security and compliance. Thus, a compliance-first content collaboration platform offers a secured chain of custody in corporate communication that

  • Allows teams to work together on documents while ensuring data protection,
  • Enables organizations to control external sharing by setting permissions, expiration dates, and watermarks, and
  • Protects sensitive information from unauthorized distribution or access

Compliance Automation

Automation plays a vital role in streamlining compliance processes and reducing the potential for human error. A compliance platform integrates compliance controls directly into the workflow, offering the following benefits:

  • Automates essential tasks such as enforcing retention policies and managing legal holds
  • Ensures consistent adherence to regulatory requirements
  • Reduces the risk of non-compliance
  • Designs and implements customized workflows for document review, approval, and other critical processes.
  • Minimizes manual errors
  • Reduce cycle times

Audit Trails and Compliance Reporting

The compliance collaboration platforms generate detailed logs of user activities. These include documenting actions such as document access, edits, and sharing, which –

  • Serve as a resource for compliance reporting, internal investigations, or external audits,
  • Provides a transparent record of actions taken within the platform,
  • Allows for proactive identification of potential compliance issues and
  • Ensures adherence to regulatory standards and promptly addresses any gaps or concerns

Secure Mobile Access

As remote work becomes prevalent, secure mobile access is vital for maintaining productivity without compromising data security. So, these compliance platforms offer secure mobile access, allowing.

  • Authorized users to access and collaborate on documents from mobile devices
  • Robust security measures, such as encrypted connections
  • Data protection, even when accessed from outside the organization’s network

Secure Data Room for Due Diligence

Due diligence is a critical stage where multiple parties share and review sensitive information. Thus, compliance content collaboration platforms offer:

  • Secured virtual data rooms specifically designed for due diligence processes
  • Controlled access, document versioning, and security measures to protect confidential information
  • Access to stakeholders to review and annotate documents in real-time
  • Global collaboration by facilitating cross-border transactions
  • Effective communication
  • Enhanced efficiency among parties in different time zones

Integration with Other Compliance Tools

Compliance platforms often integrate with other compliance tools and systems to enhance overall compliance management. These integrations enable

  • Seamless data synchronization,
  • Automated compliance checks,
  • Real-time monitoring, and
  • A holistic approach to compliance management.

Final Words

As industries continue to navigate complex regulatory landscapes, compliance becomes crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. But while selecting the right compliance platform, one should consider several key factors. The platform should align with industry-specific regulations and compliance requirements to meet the needs of the industry. After all, with the right compliance platform, organizations can achieve compliance excellence while driving business growth and success.

Categories
eDiscovery

5 Best Practices for setting the most effective eDiscovery Workflow

In today’s digital age, eDiscovery has become essential for law firms. The ability to efficiently and effectively manage large amounts of electronically stored information (ESI) is critical to the success of any legal case.

However, eDiscovery is known for devouring time, money, and labour in a seemingly endless deluge of dull and repetitive tasks – but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few essential best practices, you can set up your eDiscovery workflow successfully and avoid costly mistakes that could damage your case in court.

Whether you’re a managing partner looking to boost your firm’s efficiency or an eDiscovery attorney trying to stay ahead of the curve, this article has something for you.

Prioritize Dataset

Out of the collected ESI, eDiscovery team should prioritize datasets based on priority custodians, term hits, production deadlines, etc. Knowledge of case background and strategy is imperative for the team who prioritizes the dataset.

Work Product Setup

A simple and easy-to-understand tag structure helps reviewers a lot while taking calls on the documents. The tagging structure should be consistent and well-defined across the dataset. Review rules such as “mutual exclusion” and “required rules” are vital for error-free tagging. For example, mutual exclusion between responsive and non-responsive tags can be set up. Required rules can be set up so that if a document is responsive, a privilege/non-privileged tag needs to be made.

The more consistent the work product is, easier the review and production are.

Document Batching

Prioritize the review of documents by creating batches for potentially responsive & potentially privileged documents.  There are various techniques like Email threading to reduce the document count; it helps locate the most inclusive emails and emails with attachments. Applying Deduplication on the review load could further reduce the document count.

eDiscovery Manager can assign the batches to reviewers and monitor the progress. This will be extremely helpful, especially in time-sensitive eDiscovery requests.

Configure Team Hierarchy

When configuring team hierarchy in an eDiscovery workflow, there are a few key considerations to remember. First and foremost, having clear roles and responsibilities for each team member is essential.

This will help ensure everyone knows what is expected of them and can work together efficiently. Additionally, it may be helpful to establish a chain of command or reporting structure so that issues or concerns can be escalated appropriately.

Another critical factor to consider is communication. It is essential to have open lines of communication between team members and with any external stakeholders or clients. This can help ensure everyone is on the same page and that any issues or roadblocks are promptly addressed.

Finally, adjusting the team hierarchy or roles may be necessary as the project progresses. This could be due to changes in scope or priorities or because certain team members may excel in different areas than initially anticipated.

By remaining flexible and adaptable, teams can ensure they can deliver high-quality results while fostering a collaborative and supportive environment.

QC Process

Quality Control is not a stage but mandatory caution to follow in each stage of eDiscovery, from data collection to production. eDiscovery professionals should have a QC checklist well in advance. Engaging the most experienced team members to prepare the QC checklist is best. Here is an example of a few QC checklist items.

Processing Errors: During ESI processing, you might encounter documents that are password-protected, corrupted, or difficult to process. Often, these files get stuck at the processing level. The QC checklist must acknowledge these documents and get them processed as needed.

Privilege Review: Make a point to validate the tags applied to documents before moving them to the production stage. Utilize advanced search features to sort documents based on their applied tags searching based on tags, i.e., “Responsive” and “Privilege” tags. This additional QC step stops you from producing any privileged document.

Perform QC on Reviewed Documents: During the document review stage, A QC manager should keep an eye and ears on reviewed dataset to ensure the quality of manual review.

  • QC manager can provide timely feedback on random samples of documents reviewed by each reviewer.
  • Track overturn rates for each reviewer
  • Perform conflict checks between family documents and duplicate documents.

Production: A conflict check can be run before producing documents to ensure the work product is consistent across families, duplicate documents, and related documents. This ensures that you don’t produce any documents which should be withheld.

Conclusion

By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your eDiscovery process is streamlined and efficient. From establishing clear objectives to using the right eDiscovery software, there are many ways to optimize your eDiscovery workflow.

If you need help streamlining your eDiscovery process or have any questions about how to do so effectively, contact us to speak to an expert who can provide valuable guidance and support. With the right approach, you can ensure that your eDiscovery process succeeds from start to finish.

Categories
Legal Technology

Building a “Technology Resilient” Legal Department

Some tips from Knovos, for thriving in a transforming legal tech landscape

For years, legal teams enjoyed a reputation for being resistant to change but in the rapidly evolving legal tech landscape, we are seeing advancements that redefine the industry more and more often. Right now for example the legal world is transforming with the emergence of Generative AI, Automation, and Virtual Legal Assistants. There is an ever-growing list of new software solutions too…many of them game changers.

Amidst this legal practice transformation, creating a work environment that fosters technology resilience within the legal department is important a) it will help navigate these challenges sustainably and show  operational adaptability, and b) by doing so, legal teams can stay in line with the curve.

There is also another reason why this is a topic for legal practitioners. Today, successful GCs are not just legal advisers but also strategic leaders striving to reinvent the operating model of the legal team and ‘hopefully’ the entire company in turn. As per Gartner’s study, 92% of GCs spend less time on strategic matters than they would like (Source: 2022 top priorities for legal, compliance, and privacy leaders). The aim of the game is to create a bit of harmony in your organization – between people, processes and tech.

In this article we will set out some of our top tips for embracing tech change in your legal team.

Regularly discuss the advantages of technology

Consider referring to new technology alongside expressions like “staying competitive” “fresh perspective” “fast pace of our business” and “solutions to solve inefficiencies”. Mention that when we use technology well, legal teams become more resilient when faced with change.

Of course, this has to be done in conjunction with your IT training, streamlining workflows, and regularly evaluating new technology solutions … all of which helps build a skilled and resilient team. Buy-in from top leadership, will certainly follow when they see how all this can enhance performance and achieve cost savings.

Crisis Preparedness and Business Continuity

Remember the situation just a few years back – the legal industry and others experienced significant disruption during the pandemic. The sudden shift to remote work, security concerns, collaboration issues, and other challenges caught many off-guard. This is a valuable lesson on the importance of preparedness for the unforeseen. Legal departments must have well-defined crisis management plans and business continuity strategies to maintain resilience… and this of course often involves adapting to new technology.

Foster a Collaborative Culture

A collaborative culture encourages open communication, knowledge sharing, and cross-functional alliances – too often the phrase “I need to run this past Legal” is dreaded. This will change gradually once the legal team embraces technology change, as they will gain a reputation for adaptability.

We get that it is challenging for legal teams to indulge in collaborative activities (and changes generally) amidst demanding work schedules but it is precisely the adoption of tools like automation/ADP which can work wonders in redressing this, freeing valuable time. Professionals can use this time to do collaborative tasks like occasional brainstorming sessions, and projects that encourage collaboration and foster tech resilience.

Harness Technological Innovations

Some of the most beneficial software solutions out there, are ripe for use by legal professionals such as case project management systems, contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions, eDiscovery, GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) solutions, Image Analytics, and AI-powered analytics, to achieve significant enhancements in efficiency and risk assessment.

Embracing these technological innovations, empowers legal teams to adapt swiftly, reduce manual workloads, and concentrate on strategic decision-making. One substantial justification for onboarding a new holistic technological solution is to stay prepared for unplanned work. As per Gartner’s study, an estimated 20% of the legal department’s time spent on unplanned work is wasted, in the form of rework or over analysis (Source: Increase efficiency in unplanned legal work).

Last but not least… Call in the experts!

At least once a month, have an expert from a legal technology company come in and do a live demonstration on their solution(s). Encourage your whole team to attend, consider doing it during lunch and perhaps put on a few nice snacks – that normally draws a crowd! Most legal technology companies will be delighted to do a demo for a legal team and show off their wares. If the setting is right, the attendees will start asking good questions at the end of these presentations as they understand more and more about how the tech works, as well as compare and contrast different solutions. As familiarity grows, so will the confidence with new technology, bringing down those shrouds and increasing tech resilience.

Conclusion

Legal departments do not just need to adapt; they should thrive in these changing times. By creating a resilient ecosystem that embraces technology, legal teams can position themselves for long-term success. This strategic approach will help ensure legal departments are equipped to navigate the legal tech landscape and overcome any challenges that may arise. This resilience, once achieved means your legal department can become an even more valuable asset to the organization, not just through managing black&white legal but also by contributing to its advancement and sustainability, in an increasingly tech driven industry.