19 percent of execs say their legal and IT teams don’t collaborate well

Poll finds that more than one-third of teams are working to improve communication

If it sometimes sounds to you as if the members of your company’s IT team are speaking another language, you’re not alone.

According to a recent Deloitte Financial Advisory Services poll, “Legal and IT: Opportunities for Collaboration,” 19.3 percent of executives say their organizations’ IT and legal teams don’t collaborate well. And only 8.1 percent of executives believe their organizations’ legal and IT teams fully understand each other. The survey also found that 35.5 percent of legal and IT teams are working to improve communication across departments.

“Legal and IT teams have been working together more closely each year, responding to litigation or regulatory investigations,” says Mark Michels, a director in Deloitte’s discovery practice. “These fast-paced, complex efforts to locate, collect, preserve and analyze electronic data—evidence, really—are crucial to defending corporate reputations, legal claims and more. Unfortunately, each year there are cases that hit the headlines in which poor legal and IT cross-team communication and collaboration results in electronic discovery omissions.”

About 20 percent of respondents to Deloitte’s survey said their companies’ chief information officers and general counsel don’t understand each other’s fields. But 4.5 percent said their CIOs have some knowledge of law, and 5.9 percent said their GCs have some technology knowledge.

Michels says it’s important for legal and IT teams to understand each other because in-house lawyers commonly rely on IT professionals as expert witnesses to describe their companies’ e-discovery processes.

Read more about e-discovery:

A tale of two officers: Uniting CIOs and CLOs for more effective e-discovery

10 things to consider when bringing e-discovery in-house

E-discovery: Lawyers have specific duties with regard to e-discovery

Technology: Ethics meets e-discovery

E-discovery: Know thy IT department

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