Even though eDiscovery technically falls within the legal department’s domain, the “e” part of eDiscovery falls to the IT department. After all, eDiscovery is a technological solution to a problem caused by technology. Choices regarding platform and data collection have ramifications for both direct and indirect costs. There’s hosting and processing capacity to consider. A user-hostile platform could drive up outside counsel's bill. Sanctions could levied if review or production mistakes are made.
Even if your General Counsel typically sends data to outside counsel, IT has to allocate somebody to deal with legacy systems and older data types. Otherwise, costs skyrocket. Plus, IT inevitably end up in the line of fire when something goes wrong.
Clearly, the legal part of eDiscovery doesn’t work if the technology part isn’t solidly managed. It’s critical you become part of the eDiscovery conversation. How?
Though such a move will require a lot of coordination between General Counsel, IT and the CFO, a solid business case for saving time, money and hassle with in-house eDiscovery can be made:
From an IT perspective, assuming control of the eDiscovery process makes perfect sense. However, General Counsel is likely a cautious person, that’s the nature of the job. But that cautious nature often means his or her default position is to dump massive quantities of data onto outside resources, because they’re “the experts”. It’s the legal department’s preferred method of “mitigating risk.”
But what that means is having critical IT personnel pulled off regular work and onto eDiscovery projects at a moment’s notice. Because eDiscovery always happens “at a moment’s notice.” Having a well-defined in-house eDiscovery process can allow your company to:
Being more proactive about eDiscovery starts with making calmer, more reflective decisions about platform and process. That inevitably lowers cost and gets better results. Ensuring eDiscovery processes are running smoothly before the inevitable emergency could keep you out of the line of fire. The IT department already knows the value of preparedness, because that's what IT is all about. As vendor shopping for eDiscovery solutions needs to happen when eDiscovery isn’t happening, it makes sense for the IT department to take the lead.
Find out how the latest generation of eDiscovery tools can prepare you for the next eDiscovery crisis by downloading our latest whitepaper, “Expect the unexpected: how to control the hidden costs of eDiscovery”.