Let’s begin by setting the stage. You’ve evaluated the ways a self-service ediscovery solution could benefit your organization and determined the approach will help you boost workflow efficiency, free up internal resources, and reduce ediscovery practice and technology costs. You’ve also researched how to ideally implement a solution and armed yourself with strategies to build a business case and overcome stakeholder objections that may arise.
You’re now ready to move on to the next step in your organization’s self-service ediscovery journey: selecting the right solution provider.
When it comes to selecting a solution provider, one size does not fit all. Every organization has different ediscovery needs—including yours—and those needs evolve. From how attorneys and ediscovery teams are structured within the organization and their approach to investigations and litigations, to the types of data sources implicated in those matters and how those matters are budgeted—there’s a lot to be considered.
The self-service solution you choose should be able to adapt to your changing needs and grow with your organization. Below, I’ve outlined four key considerations that will help you select a fitting self-service solution for your organization.
1. Is the solution capable of scaling to handle any matter? It’s important to select a self-service ediscovery solution capable of efficiently handling any investigation or litigation that comes your way. A cloud-based solution can easily, swiftly scale to handle any data volume.
You’ll also want to ensure your solution can handle the type of data your organization routinely encounters. For example, collecting, processing, and reviewing data generated by collaborative applications like Microsoft Teams may require special tools or workflows. The same can be said for data generated by chat messages or cellphone data. Before selecting a self-service solution, you’ll benefit from outlining the types of data your organization must handle and asking potential solution providers how their platform supports each.
Additionally, you may be interested in the ability to move to a full-service model with your provider, should the need arise. With scalable service, your team will have access to reliable support if a matter become too challenging to manage in house. With a scalable solution bolstered by a flexible service model, your organization can bring on help as needed, without disruption.
2. Does the solution drive data reduction and review efficiency across the EDRM? Organizational data volumes are increasing year after year—meaning even small, discrete internal investigations can quickly balloon into hundreds of thousands of documents. Collecting, processing, analyzing, and producing large amounts of data can be costly, complicated, time consuming, and may open up your organization to legal risk if the right tools and workflows are not in place.
Look for a self-service solution capable of managing data at scale, with the ability to actively help your organization reduce its data footprint. This means choosing a provider that can offer expert guidance around data reduction techniques and tools. Ask potential solution providers if they have resources to address the cost burden of data and mitigate risk through strategies like defensible data collections, effective search term selection, or crafting early case assessment (ECA), and technology assisted review (TAR) workflows.
The provider should also be able to deliver technology engineered to reduce data resource draw, like processing that allows access to data faster, tools to cut down on hosted review data volume, and AI and analytics that provide the ability to re-use attorney work product across multiple matters. In short, seek a self-service solution that gives your organization the ability to defensibly and efficiently reduce the amount of costly human review across your organization’s portfolio.
3. Will the solutions’ pricing model align to your organization’s changing needs? Your organization’s budget requirements are unique and will likely change over time. Look for a solution provider that can change in accord and offer a variety of pricing models to fit your budgetary requirements. Ask prospective providers if they are able to design pricing around your organization’s expectations for utilization. Modern pricing models can be flexible yet predictable to prevent unexpected charges or overages, and ultimately align to your organization’s financial needs.
4. Is the solution’s roadmap designed to take your organization into the future? When selecting a self-service solution it’s easy to focus on your current needs, but it’s equally important to consider what a self-service solution provider has planned for the future. If a vendor is not forward thinking, an organization may find itself being forced to used outdated technology that’s not able to take on new security challenges or process and review emerging data sources.
Pursue a provider that demonstrates the ability to anticipate market trends and design solutions to address them. Ask potential providers to articulate where they see the market moving and what plans they have in place to update their technology and services to reflect what’s new. It can be helpful to question if a provider’s roadmap aligns to your organization’s direction. For example, if you know your company is planning to make a systematic change, like moving to a bring your own device (BYOD) policy or migrating to the cloud, you’ll want to confirm the self-service solution can support that change. Asking these types of questions before selecting a provider will guarantee the solution you choose will be able to grow with both your organization and the ediscovery industry as a whole.
With awareness and understanding of the true potential offered in a self-service solution, you can ultimately choose a provider that will help you level up your organization’s ediscovery program.
If you’re interested in discussing the topic further, please freely reach out to me at AMatthiesen@lighthouseglobal.com.