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Why Legal and IT Need to Speak the Same Language for Privacy, Compliance & eDiscovery

Published July 12, 2022

Communication (or the lack thereof) can be an obstacle when it comes to reaching objectives.

For a global organization this can mean the literal languages between stakeholders in different countries, but it can also mean the way different groups communicate through various terminologies.

IPRO discussed this topic with Hugo Teufel, Chief Privacy Officer at CenturyLink and Ryan Joyce, IPRO VP of Strategy. Here are a few highlights from this conversation.

Translating Departmental Cultures

There are often different cultures between organizational departments – legal, IT, compliance, privacy, business – who often speak different “languages,” and it’s helpful to have an IT translator who understands the needs of everyone involved.

“It’s important to appreciate that when the IT folks say policy, they may be referring to automated processes, and when the lawyers talk about policies, they may well mean command media or writing a document that lays out how you’re supposed to do things,” Teufel said.

How Technology Can Help

By using technology with strong reporting capabilities, legal teams can gain deep insight into their organization’s data and begin evaluating ways to operate more efficiently.

“You need really good reporting to break all this down and translate it for the various departments like legal, risk, compliance, IT, and even the executive team,” Joyce said. “And you need the reports to be understandable by the various stakeholders within each of those groups. Hopefully your technology can do it for you. If not, then you have a lot of manual work to do.”

Also, a solution that can easily locate data live its source for analytics and review, while handling the different data types your organization, such as Live EDA, can smooth legal department processes with less reliance on IT.

“Having insights across all your enterprise data is needed,” Joyce said, “because it’s hard to report on what you don’t know. Whether it’s mail file servers, laptops, cloud storage like OneDrive or SharePoint or Box, or collaboration tools like Slack or Teams, or even cell phones.”

It’s also important to find a technology partner who can create transparency between departments (both internal and external), as well as members within the legal team, which can lead to repeatable, measurable results.

Considerations for Data Insights

Here are a few of the things all stakeholders, in both legal and IT departments, should understand around their organization’s information:

  • What Data Exists
  • How Much Data Exists
  • Where is it Stored
  • Who Has Access
  • How is it Managed
  • What are Retention and Deletion Policies
  • What Source Systems Contain Unstructured Data
  • Is There Legacy Data Which Could Pose Challenges

Updating and Re-Establishing Communication

Once good communication and collaboration is established, regular meetings or check-ins may be needed to clarify any issues between those stakeholders which may arise as a result of implementing new processes.

This is why it’s helpful for your IT translator to act as a liaison who can bridge the gap between Legal, IT, and other business units to help identify obstacles to communication that may be getting in the way of efficiency, as well as building the trust, alignment, and transparency needed for an agile global response regarding compliance, risk mitigation, privacy, and litigation.

Listen to the full webinar here!

#2 Bridging the Gap: How In-House Legal Depts Can Effectively Communicate with IT, the C-Suite & Outside Stakeholders.