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4 reasons an on-demand eDiscovery can work better for your organization

Pack your bags, we’re moving to the cloud                                                             By: David Greetham 

Summary

The four benefits of on-demand (cloud-based) eDiscovery solutions

Time: 5 minute read
Initially, law firms and legal departments were entirely dependent on wholesale outsourcing to meet eDiscovery requirements. Providers evolved their delivery models from the purely transactional, to managed services including Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and most recently, cloud-based services. 

Law firms and legal departments evolved as well: gaining experience, expertise, and knowhow. Thus commenced a constant, often cyclical, push and pull between insourcing and outsourcing. 

The central hurdle for insourcing is always resource constraints. The cost in time, money, and human resources is considerable: software licensing fees; infrastructure buildout and maintenance; acquisition and ongoing training of specialists to name just a few. Importantly, many of the costs are fixed and the infrastructure has scalability limits: two major confounding variables in managing eDiscovery. 

Many mid- and small-sized organizations cannot entertain the cost of moving eDiscovery inhouse. For those organizations that can, many have settled on a bifurcated approach: Manage matters that scale to owned resources internally; outsource those that do not. This dichotomy can be resolved. And in doing so dramatically decrease the resource burden of in-house while more effectively and efficiently integrating outsourcing when required.


On-Demand eDiscovery 

Advances in technology and their proven efficacy in cloud-based delivery models enables insourcing without the heretofore extensive resource commitments. And it provides scalability and improved extensibility when needed. When delivered as an on-demand service, it allows firms to manage eDiscovery from collection and processing through data analytics and document review to production without the many fixed costs of owned infrastructure. Not only does this not decrease quality, forensic soundness or defensibility: it improves them.

Beyond these factors, there are four key reasons you will want to consider the on-demand model. The benefits accrue to large and small organizations alike.

Reason #1: Anywhere, Anytime Availability

As a cloud-based platform, on-demand solutions are available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You have complete access to the services you need anywhere you have an internet connection. Additionally, there is no reliance on VPN or Citrix connections that can potentially create connectivity issues or slow down processes. 

Combine this anytime/anywhere capability with the ability to create custom workflow templates and you can affect standardized eDiscovery process around the globe. This allows your team to work-from-home or in geographically dispersed locations effectively and efficiently. 

Ultimately, eDiscovery workflow and tasks are streamlined and in line with industry best practices. 

This is particularly effective if:

  • Establishing a VPN connection is a challenge which happens frequently during remote and work-from-home scenarios 
  • Your team members work remotely
  • You work internationally, or with geographically dispersed clients

Reason #2: Enhanced Security

Web-based service providers like Amazon  or Microsoft® deploy state-of-the-art security. You can even pick the location of servers to manage for local data privacy laws and other challenges associated with removing data from their locality. 

Legal technology solutions leverage the cloud for this enhanced security and compliance capabilities. In a secured cloud, data uploaded into the system is automatically encrypted and we insist on two-factor authentication as an additional security control. 

This is important if:

  • You’re looking for a more secured means of storing often highly sensitive data
  • You need to manage cross-border investigations or disputes
  • There is a need to manage for jurisdictional data privacy compliance
  • You need to provide third-party access (e.g., plaintiff, access to production sets for download). 
illustration of a wave of paper documents poised to overtake a businessman

Reason #3: Alerts and Status Updates

With a web-based application, you will receive notifications as your projects move through the automated production workflow. And, with powerful new analysis and review functionality, you can interact with and filter your documents for greater insight and efficiency. This is especially helpful as the automated notifications allow you to focus on other tasks without having to divert your attention to proactively check on status (or forget to). You don’t have to “babysit the data”, simply log on once the alert has been received.

This is particularly effective if:

  • You work collaboratively with many people
  • You are managing many projects concurrently
  • You receive large “data dumps” from clients
  • You want to improve project efficiency and productivity

Reason #4: Data Analysis and Review Functionality

On-demand technology deployed in the cloud provides the ability to perform data analysis and review within the platform.

This is highly valuable if:

  • You need to quickly obtain high-level information about the data to aid decision making
  • You don't want to move data between multiple platforms which is highly inefficient and creates opportunity for error, as well as potential Chain of Custody issues
  • You want to automate certain tasks
  • You're looking for a tool that can simplify the analysis and review process, making it easier to follow, reducing error (plus speeding the training of new users)

In Conclusion

On-demand eDiscovery leveraging the cloud brings substantial benefits to legal departments and law firms of all sizes. It is the logical next step in the evolution of eDiscovery management, risk mitigation, cost reduction, and business value. It allows (even resource constrained) organizations to consider taking the work inhouse, outsource, or choose some combination of both.


At an execution level it improves scalability, ensures maximum security, aids in compliance with data privacy regulations, and simplifies the entire eDiscovery process. In addition, an initial understanding of the dataset can be obtained quickly.

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Portrait of David Greetham
David A. Greetham is Vice President of eDiscovery Sales and Operations at Ricoh USA, Inc., responsible for driving Ricoh’s computer forensic and eDiscovery services growth. Throughout his career, Greetham has been retained by law firms and corporations as a Testifying and Consulting Expert in the area of Computer Forensics and is a Certified Forensic Litigation Consultant by the Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA). Greetham has testified as a forensic expert on many occasions both nationally and internationally. In addition, he is the inventor and developer of Remlox™, a patented forensically sound “remote-collection” tool that has been deployed in 39 countries throughout the world.
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