In our latest series of articles, we’ve been exploring a few of our favourite proactive strategies to drive down the costs of eDiscovery. Today we’re going to take a look at the “where”, “why” and “how” of actually starting that proactive, cost-reduction journey.
Where to start
The key to figuring out where you should be heading is to first pinpoint exactly where you’re coming from. That’s why step one of any eDiscovery improvement strategy should be benchmarking where your organisation currently falls on the eDiscovery maturity spectrum.
This maturity assessment process often brings several quick wins to light, along with much greater clarity on where and how you can introduce efficiencies without compromising the quality of your outcomes.
Legal teams have strict deadlines and complex compliance requirements to meet. Their priority is always going to be ensuring the data they collect is comprehensive and defensible. That can make it tempting to over-collect in the early stages of eDiscovery, leading to much higher downstream processing and review costs.
While it may feel less risky to stick with what you know and endure the cost implications, ignoring the potential of newer, more cost-effective ways of working can be even more dangerous when budgets are under perpetual pressure.
Ignoring proactive eDiscovery’s potential to nip emerging internal issues in the bud before they cause reputational damage can also be a dangerous – and costly – game to play.
It’s not just risk, processing and review costs that can be reduced through proactive and cost-efficient eDiscovery strategies, either. Streamlining data identification and collection can also free up valuable IT resources, saving time and money in the IT budget, as well.
Information governance policies are often used for this purpose, reducing data volumes for more efficient eDiscovery. This, too, can produce cost savings thanks to the knock-on reduction in storage and backup costs.
How to start
Now that we know where to start, and what you stand to gain by doing so, it’s time to take a look at how you get the ball rolling.
Our suggestion is to break down each element of the EDRM lifecycle in order to build a picture of your current exposure, effectiveness and known shortfalls. Historic outcomes and their associated costs can be used to establish an ROI model (and risk appetite) while identifying areas for improvement to align with potential solutions.
In general, you should be looking to streamline your data, as well as your identification, preservation and collection processes. This should expedite downstream processing, analysis and review. It’s all about reducing data volumes, increasing relevance and separating the “noise” from the “signal”. The earlier in the EDRM model you can achieve this, the better your results will be.
Identifying and developing remedial strategies and programmes while staying focussed on driving down the costs of eDiscovery can be a complex – and often highly nuanced – task. It’s not a project you have to tackle on your own, however. In fact, it’s often more cost-effective in the long run to bring an expert like Salient on board.
Our eDiscovery Maturity Assessment is a great place to start. It includes:
- A review of your attitude towards information governance and establishing a baseline of your current practices.
- A review of every element of the EDRM lifecycle to pinpoint your current eDiscovery maturity level, identify areas for improvement, and align implementation priorities with your specific corporate risk appetite.
- Interactive assessments covering 7 key areas related to eDiscovery
- A half-day workshop to discuss each area, collect scores and provide feedback
- Scoring based on industry best practices
- Prioritised actionable insights provided by eDiscovery experts
- Opportunity ranking indicating the potential impact of each area to reduce eDiscovery spend
If you’d like to find out more about how Salient Discovery can help you drive down the cost of eDiscovery, get in touch.