eDiscovery internal investigations

The benefits of using eDiscovery tools for internal investigations

It’s a common misconception that the value of eDiscovery is confined to legal matters. As a result, many corporates procure their eDiscovery services from their law firms as part of a legal response “package” (with all the associated wrap-around costs that come with law firm pricing models). In reality, eDiscovery tools and processes have a lot to offer in a wide variety of use cases. Internal corporate investigations are a perfect example.

Examples of Internal Investigations

Employee investigations

Between employee misconduct, employment disputes, harassment, equal opportunity issues and more, Human Resources departments are often up to their necks in investigations. These investigations frequently involve the potential processing of sensitive and/or personal information, requiring a very delicate and compliance-aware touch.

Whistle-blower activity

Whistle-blowers are another common trigger for internal inquiries, sometimes even proceeded by government or regulator investigations. The ability to respond quickly and thoroughly to allegations, and uncover any relevant information as fast as possible, is critical when law enforcement or regulators could descend at any moment.

Insider Threat/Cyber Breach

Unauthorised access or theft of internal data is a massive threat to organisations on multiple levels. Having the investigative capabilities to quickly identify and respond to a breach (along with its infiltration/exfiltration methods) is critical in order to minimise immediate financial and reputational damage and prevent repeat incidents.

Due Diligence

Performing due diligence for mergers and acquisitions (or related regulatory inquiries) is frequently data/document-intensive, with no room for error, and with high value deals at stake.

Unbundling eDiscovery for internal use

Given the significant dangers they pose to organisations, internal investigations often require just as much speed, thoroughness, and confidentiality as litigation. They can also involve equally large volumes and varieties of data, with as much – if not more – time and cost pressure in play.

As such, eDiscovery tools and techniques can be invaluable in streamlining the secure and defensible identification, collection and production of relevant data. However, the costs of doing so through a law firm can be high enough to negate the benefits of using the technology in the first place.

Thankfully, eDiscovery and legal services are not inseparable. In fact, organisations running Microsoft 365 E5 licences already have a powerful, standalone eDiscovery toolset at their disposal. That said, using these Microsoft tools to their fullest requires a skilled hand – or hands – at the tiller. Establishing (and training) an internal eDiscovery team up to the challenge is not without obstacles (read more on that, here).

A great alternative for corporates looking to get their in-house eDiscovery capabilities up and running more quickly is to outsource eDiscovery as a separate service. This approach enables organisations to keep their data in-house while leveraging the skills of established eDiscovery experts from third-parties like Salient.

Benefits include guaranteed confidentiality and no conflicts of interest.

We like to think of it as hiring a skilled driver to pilot your own high-performance vehicle. You have the capabilities; we put them through their paces.

Taking internal eDiscovery to the next level

Microsoft 365’s eDiscovery suite is great at identifying, preserving, and collecting evidential material, going as far as providing Early Data Assessment (EDA) and Early Case Assessment (ECA) capabilities. These are undeniably powerful and valuable tools, but Microsoft is not a fully-fledged review platform.

That’s why, at Salient, we offer cutting-edge Reveal-Brainspace technology to take our clients’ eDiscovery capabilities one step further. This AI-powered platform enables us to provide significant additional insights into investigations, bringing in supporting evidential material from other non-Microsoft 365 sources, and delivering fully-featured and accelerated review capabilities.

The result is a faster, more comprehensive eDiscovery process that delivers an extraordinarily competitive approach to internal investigations.

Get in touch to find out more about how our highly-skilled South African team can take your internal investigations to the next level, quickly, defensibly, and cost-effectively.

Microsoft 365

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