As is invariably the case in technological advances, the many benefits of digital records are offset by significant risks. Chief among these risks is the cost of electronic discovery during litigation. E-discovery is the use of sophisticated sampling and search tools to mine databases for documents relevant to a lawsuit.

The more files there are to search, the larger a company's e-discovery costs are likely to be. Thanks to IT professionals' commitment to being excellent stewards of data, a company can have tens of thousands of backup tapes stored, each of which can contain 10 million documents – all of which may be subject to e-discovery. The result could be millions of dollars in e-discovery costs in the event of litigation.

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