With the ever-constant pressure on budgets, a trend has emerged throughout 2019 for companies’ in-house legal counsel to provide services which previously might have been outsourced, a pattern which looks set to continue into 2020. This does not mean that in-house legal counsels are expanding but rather that often, corporates are following the adage about doing more with the same, or even less.
Outsourced legal skills can be expensive, so there’s an opportunity to cut costs by bringing them back in-house to strengthen the in-house legal counsel[DF1] team, but this is only one aspect to consider in reducing the overall cost base.
A clear benefit of outsourcing these tasks is to shift the responsibility for the provision of any requisite technology platforms to the outsourced provider. Bringing that function back in-house requires an assessment and potential acquisition of technology that may be required.
Enter the Cloud
A new generation of cloud services is emerging, offering pay-as-you-go Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capability. So rather than the pure ‘lawyer-for-hire’ approach, these offerings present an ideal combination of the latest, ever-evolving technology, along with the skills of your in-house legal counsel, who retain the knowledge, specifics and nuances of your business.
Technology advances at such a pace that, even if time and budgets permitted, the selection of the right products for your business may leave you being out of date within six months or less down the line. So why not leave that challenge to the platform supplier? Not happy after six months? Then change your supplier.
Providers will incentivise longer-term commitment from clients over ad-hoc usage, but what better way to dip your toe in the water? Try before you buy, or at least before you make a longer-term investment.
Combined with the undeniably increasing appetite for cloud-stored data, is now the right time to embrace PaaS?
eDiscovery and analytics are examples of capability now available in PaaS format. And they’re not just for litigation. Increasingly, we see more internal investigatory and regulatory work being undertaken in-house; forensic analysis of possible financial improprieties, compliance-driven investigations and of course the rise of the Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) under the European GDPR.
As the demands on your in-house legal counsel expand beyond pure litigation, the need for more holistic thinking becomes evident.
There is much more emphasis on the left-hand side of the eDiscovery Reference Model (EDRM) spectrum in terms of the governance, retention and preservation of electronically stored information residing in typical source systems within the organisation.
Being able to surface, assess and retain relevant data quickly is something that the in-house legal counsel needs to focus on, long before any formal disclosure activities take place or third-party review teams are engaged. So, having the right tools, readily at your disposal, becomes essential and no longer a nice-to-have.
It’s time to get ready to embrace eDiscovery. At Salient Discovery, our focus on speed, efficiency and scalability, means our solutions are adapted to meet our clients’ exact demands. For eDisclosure training and on-premises deployments in the UK and South Africa, get in touch with us today.