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Building a business case to take control of eDiscovery

eDiscovery does not generate revenue for the organization, it disrupts businesses and limits the time and energy that management could otherwise invest in their core activities. Nevertheless, the need to use automation to control data volumes and high costs for external service providers is real.

The option of eDiscovery Software as a Service (SaaS) already reduces the need of large capital upfront investments, but even for the (case-based) monthly bills you can show positive return on investment to get the necessary buy-in of management.

In-house eDiscovery SaaS for Law FirmsIn a recent ACEDS webinar, Adam Plat, eDiscovery Analysts with FirstBank, talked about their selection and buying process. FirstBank found their argument in risk avoidance, which – especially for a bank – is paramount. Learned from a class action case, the IT-team joint forces with the legal specialist and convinced management that from a cost and reputation perspective, it was better to spend money upfront and be ahead of the ball. Adam advises to collaborate closely with IT and to build your (ROI) case on practical arguments.

Below three important pillars to use when you build your business case to bring (some parts of) eDiscovery in house.

Saving on third-party collection and processing fees

eDiscovery is the most expensive part of litigation. Many corporations still provide unprocessed and pre-culled content to their third-party eDiscovery service provider and outside legal counsel.

Consequently, external processing and review costs continue to double at the same pace as the data volumes. Consider the enormous savings of data reduction by advanced culling and processing when you realize that on average 1 Gb contains 2,500 documents and review cost are US$ 4 per document. 

Price transparency and budget predictability

Every project is different and you never know upfront how much data you will receive. Since nobody exactly knows what is in that data, required IT resources and litigation budgets are impossible to plan.

Having an eDiscovery (SaaS) solution at your finger-tips, allows you to conduct a first-pass review and the best early case assessment yourself to estimate the complexities of a project, estimate required resources and define the right strategy in the very early phases of the project.

Efficiency by faster review, more automation and smarter workflow

Having someone on-staff who is familiar with the legal process, who is up to speed on the corporate data profile and who has access to his or her own eDiscovery software solution, reduces reliance on eDiscovery vendors and drastically speeds up the process.

Consolidate all data in one in-house platform instead of various distributed platforms (scale benefits to get the most cost effective pricing) allows for better collaboration between all parties involved, while keeping keep tight control of all your data. It also allows for better collaborate with your external advisors and the ability of measuring productivity, progress and quality at the same time.

Having repeatable and well-documented processes also reduce the risk of errors and possible sanctions.