Thought Leadership and Industry Trends
What to Expect in 2018: Trends in Managing eDiscovery
By Regina Chepalis, Managing Director CDS Mid-Atlantic
One of the main trends in the world of litigation is companies and law firms analyzing their approach to managing eDiscovery. They are evaluating what services to keep or move in-house versus outsourcing. What we are seeing and what surveys are showing is that the majority of companies are handling over half of their litigation work in-house and that percentage is increasing. What is driving this change?
The primary motivations for corporations include:
- Cost and efficiency. Companies feel they can reduce expenses and spending on outside counsel particularly in areas where they have processes set up and tasks are part of their daily work. As a result, data preservation, collection, legal hold, case management, etc. are more likely to be handled in-house. These are also the areas where companies feel they can perform tasks effectively themselves. Where they lack expertise, they are more likely to outsource.
- Reducing risk and ensuring consistent practices. Companies managing their own data properly can gain a better understanding of what they have, assess their risks and establish appropriate security and accessibility standards. However, companies often need help in undertaking this process.
- Control over data. Information governance is an important issue. Companies need to be comfortable with developing and enforcing their own policies.
- Availability of software. There are more products and services available to help companies with reducing, processing and searching data, which enables them to do more of the work themselves.
Not surprisingly, the areas that companies are most likely to outsource are those services that are outside of what they feel are part of their normal business practices, such as hosting, review and production of data.
Essentially, every company needs to find the right balance in managing their eDiscovery to save time, control costs and reduce risk. Although bringing work in-house may reduce outside spend, it may be more costly in the long run. A solution to this problem is to take a managed services approach. Managed services enable corporations to outsource eDiscovery infrastructure and technical expertise. It provides many advantages including standardizing practices, reducing costs, increasing predictability, and improving outcomes.
Law firms can also benefit from managed services. It allows them to build case standards, protocols and procedures and manage small cases internally.
The key with managed services is to develop a relationship with a service provider who can advise you about managing eDiscovery in-house and setting up the processes and workflows you need.
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