If pushed, you can probably list several benefits of using eDiscovery technology when reviewing large amounts of electronically stored information (ESI). You’ll know that the technology is typically faster, cheaper and more reliable than using human reviewers to do the work. But you may also believe that technology for eDiscovery has several major shortcomings. Initially, it can be expensive, very labor intensive to deploy, and you have to train everyone on the new work process.
Easy way out
In light of these well-known challenges of using eDiscovery technology, many in-house legal teams now take the easy route when using the technology – they ask their external law firm or solutions vendor to carry out their eDiscovery work on their behalf. True, this approach means that corporate counsel don’t enjoy all of the benefits of the technology, especially its cost savings. On the other hand, this approach means that much of the hassle associated with eDiscovery is also outsourced.
If this way of working describes your own organization’s use of eDiscovery, you may have concluded that eDiscovery sucks. Then we at ZyLAB suggest it’s time to rethink your approach.
Firstly, we admit that eDiscovery used to suck. But, here’s the thing – lots of things that used to suck don’t suck any more. Thanks to innovations such as machine learning, eDiscovery tools can now automate many of the manual tasks that previously gave the technology a bad reputation. For example, eDiscovery technology can now eliminate duplicate copies of files from searches, thereby freeing up humans from having to review these files manually. The technology can also redact private data automatically – another tedious task eliminated.
Secondly, eDiscovery’s search capabilities have improved significantly in recent years. Today, modern eDiscovery tools can sift through social media posts and videos just as easily as they can though emails and documents. It is no longer necessary to review many types of ESI manually, and outside of the eDiscovery environment.
By themselves, these two enhancements should prompt in-house counsel to give technology a second chance. But there’s more. In recent years, the scenarios where eDiscovery can be deployed have continued to expand beyond its origins in the disputes sector – firstly to handling regulatory requests, and, more recently, to situations where serious internal investigations have to be conducted. Just as importantly, the technology can also now help prepare responses to more routine legal matters, such as personal data disclosure requests. This broadening of eDiscovery’s applications is important: the more the technology can be used within the corporate legal function, the greater the justification for bringing it – and its associated expertise – in-house.
Given these developments, we at ZyLAB believe that skeptical corporate counsel should reconsider their hostility towards the in-house deployment of eDiscovery technology (either on-premises or in a cost effective SaaS solution). If they do, we’re confident they will be pleasantly surprised by the technology’s recent improvements, by its ease of use, the cost effective and transparent pricing models, and also by its ever-increasing number of real-world applications.
Read more on why eDiscovery no longer sucks in the whitepaper "Discover eDiscovery".