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No Longer Just Slack & Teams: Why Legal Departments Should Be Aware of Frontline Industry Collaboration Apps – JD Supra

For the last few years, much discussion within the legal industry has centered on the rise of collaboration app usage and the complexities of collecting that data in case of litigation or internal investigation.
But most of the time, when people say “collaboration data,” they’re primarily referring to Slack and MS Teams, mainly because these are the predominant communication platforms used in traditional office settings where people sit in front of computers. However, that’s only one slice of the workforce who are utilizing collaboration applications to streamline processes and foster communication and teamwork.
A new area of growth for collaboration apps is among frontline workers in industries like construction, retail, healthcare, hospitality, and others. Many forward-thinking companies use collaboration apps specializing in these frontline industries (Beekeeper is a great example) to streamline processes and increase security currently managed across disparate channels like email, SMS, employee portals, and physical document binders.
One use case for implementing a frontline collaboration app is the global food corporation Cargill. Their North American protein division, which staffs 28k team members, was looking for a way to move away from a paper-based system and foster communication with their diverse workforce, which represented more than 30 different languages spoken across 40+ locations.
After a quick rollout in the wake of the pandemic, Jay Knoll, Sr. Communications Specialist at Cargill says the implementation has been a success: “More than 12,000 non-wired Cargill employees have opted into using this tool and are now easily connected to information, resources, and communication they didn’t have before.”
Hospitality is another frontline industry that takes advantage of specialized collaboration apps beyond Slack and Teams. A recent article showed how Leonardo Hotels developed an internal employee communication app in partnership with Beekeeper to share information between its employees across 200 hotels in 18 countries.
The app includes a messaging function, an interactive social function, a daily podcast, plus all company information for employees, such as contracts, schedules, pay stubs, and other HR information. And it can be accessed through a smartphone app or web browser, giving hospitality workers access to the information they need wherever they work.
The established precedent is that digital information is discoverable in corporate investigations should litigation arise. And this has continued to evolve over the years from email to social media and mobile data to chat data like Slack and Teams.
But as more SaaS applications are being introduced into the workplace, whether it’s in an office, at home, or in frontline industries, legal departments need to be prepared. That’s why taking a data inventory of your organization to determine what collaboration tools are in use across various departments is an important first step.
Once there is a clear understanding of potential sources, it’s essential to ensure that the preservation and collection of those data sources are possible with relative ease and efficiency in the case of an investigation. There may also be a need for data archiving to meet compliance and other regulatory requirements.
With the ever-changing data landscape in enterprise systems, finding solutions that can mitigate legal and regulatory risk across the many complex data sources that support operations protects your organization today and establishes processes that are future-proof as new SaaS platforms arrive on the scene every day.
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