Corporate Counsel, CIOs, and Litigation Support Managers need no convincing that the costs of eDiscovery are increasing dramatically. And if you work in one of the aforementioned positions, it is likely you are well aware that bringing part or all of the eDiscovery process in-house may lead to considerable cost-savings and allow you to regain control over your eDiscovery budgets.
The challenge comes in building a successful business case which persuades the Board to invest in eDiscovery software and technology that gives project teams the tools to get the job done in a way that is legally defensible, leaves a thorough audit trail, and allows for strict cost-controls.
To build a successful business case, it is vital to understand the hidden costs of eDiscovery and how taking direct control of the process can alleviate or even eliminate these.
eDiscovery is like apples, you pay by the pound. The more data you have, the more your eDiscovery process will cost. And with almost every employee now walking around with the equivalent of a 1990s supercomputer in their pocket (in the form of a mobile phone), the amount of data related to an average eDiscovery project has exploded.
Estimates vary, but the average cost per gigabyte of data is around $US30,000. And Moore’s law generally applies to external legal fees – meaning they double every 18 months or so. However, this only represents the obvious costs of eDiscovery. It is the costs that are not immediately visible which can cause the most damage to an organization’s balance sheet. These include:
CFOs and Boards are no longer accepting that huge legal bills are simply part and parcel of eDiscovery for litigation, M&As, and regulatory investigations when it is clear there is now software and technology available to reduce external legal costs.
eDiscovery is an incident-related cost; therefore, payment normally comes directly from profit. Perhaps the best argument for bringing part or all of the process in-house is that the cost savings will go directly back to the bottom line, resulting in shareholder, consumer, and investor confidence. With modern-day Software-as-a-Service payment models, taking advantage of eDiscovery technology no longer means a large upfront investment, allowing you to pay for usage instead.
To find out more about the points discussed in this article, you can listen to our webinar in which Jeffrey Wolff, eDiscovery Director at ZyLAB, Mary Mack, Executive Director ACEDS, and Johannes Scholtes, CSO at ZyLAB talk about the hidden costs of eDiscovery.