Will NEC’s high-tech desktop
doodad help revolutionize
Gerry Kenney, the amiable General Counsel of NEC Corporation of America, recently clued Blawgletter into an ingenious way to manage e-discovery — before it starts. Even in advance of somebody filing a lawsuit.
The remedy doesn’t take e-discovery as its primary concern — or even, as far as Blawgletter can tell, a quaternary one. It aims instead to reduce the overall cost of information technology. It does the job by relocating software and data storage to servers and replacing personal computers with thinner, less expensive, and easier-to-maintain terminals. See an overview of "thin computing" here.
The thin client approach to enterprise computing should eliminate many of the nooks and crannies that electronic documents make their way into nowadays. It thus ought to:
- Simplify carrying out "litigation holds" on e-document destruction, reducing the risk of e-spoliation and sanctions.
- Allow faster searching for and retrieval of relevant e-documents.
- Permit more efficient copying and production of relevant e-documents.
- Eliminate the need (or temptation) to convert e-documents from native format to a format that lacks (or alters) important metadata, which tells the history of each e-document.
These advantages fit nicely with the new federal rules on e-discovery and The Sedona Guidelines: Best Practice Guidelines & Commentary for Managing Information & Records in the Electronic Age (Sedona download requires registration).
Mr. Kenney holds more than an academic interest in thin client technology. NEC hopes to sell lots of its Virtual PC Centers. (A January 30 WSJ article projected that thin client purchases will more than double by 2010 from current levels.) We wish them the best.
Blawgletter doesn’t pretend that thin client will bring us to e-discovery nirvana. Only a hair or two closer.