7 Reasons Your Legal Department Wants You to Upgrade to Slack Enterprise Grid

| April 22 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic has required that companies—practically overnight—restructure their offices to achieve sustainable social distancing. Millions of knowledge workers are suddenly working from home, isolating themselves to slow the spread of this devastating disease. 

But a lack of direct contact with colleagues doesn’t have to mean a lack of communication. Thankfully, the fact that this outbreak occurred in 2020 means that organizations and individuals have the tools and technologies we need to work remotely, even if it takes some time to adjust before we can achieve our prior levels of efficiency and effectiveness. From videoconferencing and chat applications to old-school approaches like email and even phone calls, avoiding in-person meetings doesn’t have to mean we avoid meetings of the mind. 

Many companies are adopting Slack, or scaling up its use— yet doing it so rapidly that they haven’t incorporated it into their ediscovery or record retention protocols. There is a free version of Slack that’s quick and easy to install and start using, but it may not be right for your organization’s needs.

Your legal team will need: 

  • unrestrained message retention with a way to preserve older data; 
  • robust search parameters that make it easy to find relevant content; and 
  • data export mechanisms that enable efficient ediscovery workstreams. 


Relying on the wrong version that doesn’t meet your company’s use case could seriously frustrate the work of your legal department. Fortunately, there’s a better approach: upgrading to Slack Enterprise Grid, which enables unlimited message retention and unlocks the Slack discovery API.  Think of this API as the key that gives your organization access to the data contained within your organization’s Slack instance but it also serves as the vital connection to the only purpose-built Slack ediscovery platform, Hanzo Hold. Together, they help your organization identify and make sense of the data that is critical for ediscovery. 

Here are seven reasons why—even though we’re in the midst of a global pandemic—your legal department wants you to prioritize an upgrade to Slack Enterprise Grid

1) You need to be able to identify who’s using Slack and where they are. 


To efficiently identify who your Slack users are and what channels they’ve participated in, you need the enhanced organization and channel management tools of Slack Enterprise Grid. The first step to any investigation or ediscovery matter evaluation is finding the relevant parties and their conversation threads.  Hanzo Hold ensures easy access to users and channels, and automatically maps channels to the scope of preservation articulated by your legal team.. 


2) You need the ability to implement defensible legal holds and preserve discoverable Slack data. 


It’s likely that there will be a wave of litigation after the pandemic, as companies and employees grapple with emerging employment and healthcare issues. Because so many internal corporate communications are moving to Slack, now is the time to prepare so that you’re able to preserve those conversations that become relevant to litigation. With the unlimited message storage of Slack Enterprise Grid plus access to Slack’s discovery API, you can create a sound, legally defensible legal hold process for Slack data. That allows you to effectively preserve messages that you might need for litigation and apply sound data retention and governance policies to your Slack data repository.

Without Slack Enterprise Grid, you can lose relevant, discoverable messages and open yourself up to spoliation sanctions. 


3) You need to be able to delete data that’s no longer useful and maintain sound retention policies.


While it’s critical that you keep potentially discoverable data, it’s equally important that you dispose of data that no longer serves a purpose. Unnecessary data drives up discovery costs and increases risk. Prudent information governance dictates that you keep the data that’s valuable and promptly delete the data that isn’t. Slack Enterprise Grid lets you surface the data you need from the discovery API so that you may retain data with precision in a separate discovery repository while setting a disposal schedule for data that isn’t subject to any holds.


4) You need to be able to quickly review the data in context for efficient early case assessment.


Lawyers are under intense pressure to perform during this pandemic. Companies are asking questions such as when affected employees are eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections, how to keep their workplaces safe when employees may be asymptomatic yet contagious, and when they can send employees who may be sick home. As organizations face short or long-term staff reductions, the need to monitor departed employees leads to increased demands on internal investigations as well. 

Companies need to be able to get the lay of the land quickly when they’re first notified about a new potential litigation matter so they can decide what response will be most cost-effective. Slack Enterprise Grid with Hanzo Hold offers robust search options that let you immediately identify responsive information and provides export capabilities so you can complete your review, analysis, or presentation and make a fast decision about the case.


5) Speaking of search: You also need to be able to rapidly conduct internal investigations.


External litigation matters aren’t the only factual situations you need to quickly evaluate, especially now. Slack Enterprise Grid with Hanzo Hold, empowers legal teams to manage internal investigations with ease, rapidly searching through your employees’ communications to resolve HR and employment issues—including coronavirus-related concerns—before they escalate. 

6) You need to be able to integrate your Slack data into your existing ediscovery workflow.


Your legal department already has the tools and capabilities to manage ediscovery with more traditional data sources. Slack Enterprise Grid, in conjunction with Hanzo Hold, gives organizations the power to preserve the right data, cull it, and export it in a review-ready format that will work with your existing ediscovery tools. That means you can optimize your current ediscovery workflow to incorporate Slack data—without missing a beat.


7) You need a wraparound information governance and ediscovery solution so you can use Slack.


If you don’t have all of the above, your legal department doesn’t want you using Slack, period, global pandemic notwithstanding. 

Right now, many employees are under stay-at-home orders and are being forced to work remotely. That means that organizations need to adopt collaboration tools that will allow their teams to stay connected and stay on the job even when they can’t be in the office. 

But even during these extenuating circumstances, information governance and ediscovery capabilities are never optional. Without the capabilities enabled with Enterprise Grid, you’re cutting off your ability to quickly identify Slack users and channels, defensibly preserve relevant and discoverable communications while deleting outdated and unimportant data, easily evaluate both external and internal matters, and smoothly integrate Slack data into existing ediscovery workflows. That means you can’t comply with ediscovery demands, retention schedules, or even evolving privacy and security mandates. 

Odds are that much of your company’s internal correspondence will soon be in Slack, if it isn’t already. That makes it as important to master Slack data management—from ediscovery to information governance—as it used to be to master email. With Slack Enterprise Grid’s discovery API and Hanzo Hold, you can tame your Slack data in no time. 

why your it department Also wants you to upgrade to slack enterprise grid

Legal isn’t the only department that wants you to upgrade your Slack; IT wishes you had access to Slack Enterprise Grid too. IT is motivated by upgraded features such as: 

  • the ability to create multiple interconnected workspaces across your company; 
  • organizational management tools from member access controls and authentication settings to individual channel management; 
  • the ability to share channels with individuals who aren’t part of your organization; 
  • enhanced security measures including single sign-on and SCIM provisioning; 
  • support for integrations with other systems, including data loss prevention, enterprise mobility management, and enterprise key management; and
  • the ability to use Slack’s discovery API to extract data for ediscovery, internal knowledge management, and more.



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