Thought Leadership and Industry Trends
eDiscovery for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: The On-Demand Approach
By Richard Das, Vice President of Operations, CDS.
The increasing amount of electronically stored information created during everyday business processes poses many challenges to corporations of all sizes. Between concerns over data security, increasing IT infrastructure costs, and the need to comply with electronic discovery requests, corporate legal departments have been required to dedicate greater attention and resources to managing their electronic information. There are many different options for corporations interested in streamlining their data management practices and controlling their eDiscovery costs. Some larger corporations have built their own in-house litigation support departments, staffing them with experts dedicated to eDiscovery to help establish and oversee internal processes.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face the same data challenges as larger organizations, but may not have the ability to support dedicated internal staff. The traditional approach followed by these corporations has been to outsource electronic discovery needs to law firms. Law firms that have internal eDiscovery capabilities and infrastructure handle projects internally. If they do not have these resources internally, the law firm subcontracts to an eDiscovery service provider. While this kind of outsourcing may seem to simplify the process, it also results in decentralization of data and a lack of cost transparency that can create risk, especially for businesses who have limited staff in their legal departments.
Fortunately, there are now options that lower the barrier to entry for SMBs seeking to manage their eDiscovery. Cloud services are changing the data management landscape by giving companies on-demand access to tools, enabling businesses of all sizes to take control of their data. Here are some of the ways SMBs can leverage the cloud for their eDiscovery:
- An alternative to building costly on-premises eDiscovery infrastructure: The single biggest hurdle for companies looking to control their eDiscovery is the cost of infrastructure and maintenance. Cloud services take away the infrastructure burden, handling all aspects of hardware, server maintenance, and software upgrades. When companies using cloud eDiscovery need more storage space or processing speed, they can simply expand their instance without investing in new hardware. Similarly, as matters reach completion and storage needs decrease, companies can scale back their cloud usage, lowering costs in the process.
- Data security: With evolving cyber threats, it is important for SMBs to do the research and staff accordingly to prevent breaches in their infrastructure. With cloud services, security is the most important feature. Cloud service providers invest time and resources into the hardware/software that they provide, thus taking the burden away from the SMB.
- Instant access to the latest features: Upgrades to cloud-hosted software are performed across all subscribers, which means that users have access to the latest features as soon as they are available. Cloud providers thoroughly test new features to ensure functionality, removing upgrade headaches and ensuring an optimal user experience.
- Full control of the environment from legal hold to processing to production: With end-to-end cloud-hosted eDiscovery, organizations can determine how much control they want over their eDiscovery. Companies can take some—or all—of the functionality in-house to be managed by their teams.
- On-demand professional services: Large and complex matters can arise even for SMBs. In these cases, the in-house legal team can turn to a cloud eDiscovery provider who offers consulting and project management services. With a depth of experience across industries and case types, the right eDiscovery partner can speed the process and help ensure the best outcome.
CDS offers on-demand eDiscovery via the RelativityOne platform. Contact us today to learn how our on-demand eDiscovery can help your small to medium-sized business.
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