The Elephant In The Room – How Tech Partners Made Discovery Look Easy

Times of crisis have the potential to shine light on gaping holes in even the most stable of eDiscovery systems. Throw in a mix of limited budgets, expanding data sources, and increasingly complex investigations/litigation and suddenly your “do more with less” case team is fighting an uphill battle doing a lot more, with a lot less. 

In our view, however, the crisis has only pointed to the elephant we’ve known for some time: eDiscovery is inherently expensive and complicated.

Taking Back the Reins

Companies across industries have historically relied on service partners to tackle messy processes. And for good reason: Partners make the eDiscovery job look easy! They wrap services, technical capabilities, and best practices into tailored workflows. Still, with third party costs accounting for 45% of litigation spend, many companies have taken the leap in the last few years in bringing some of this work “in-house.”

In 2018, a study of Effective Legal Spend Management found 48% of respondents expected in-house legal budgets to grow. More than half of in-house legal departments are building their own onsite eDiscovery capabilities;  a trend that shows no signs of stopping. Without the guiding hand of partners, Corporations are suddenly left to their own devices in creating unified, compliant processes.

With an estimated 68% of total eDiscovery spend going to in-person, time-intensive collection processes, we see remote, integrated end-point collection platforms such as Optimum Navigator™ becoming the new standard.  Times of change perhaps provide the nudge legal departments need to evaluate just how effective these resources are orchestrated.

A New Case Team

How can legal teams realistically focus on outcomes, risk management, and case strategy when platform know-how is limited to specialists?  Enter automation: It’s time to look for platforms that integrate multiple technologies, people, and resources to help small teams tackle big eDiscovery challenges.

A platform’s time to value needs to meet the quickly increasing demands for smaller, nimbler case teams. While on one front outsourcing budgets are under pressure, we are all witnessing a shift to a new kind of internal case teams: “Legal Operations.”

So what does this really mean…

Intelligent automation can drastically change the way a corporation runs eDiscovery, allowing Legal Ops to build repeatable processes and take control. Intelligent Automation from platforms like Optimum deliver the following:

  • Do more with less: with an end-to-end automation platform, a 2-3-person team can do the work of 10 resources to manage complex eDiscovery processes 
  • Integrated Platform: connect and integrate multiple toolsets for a single interface and reporting across your matters, regardless of the underlying technology
  • Use of templates: messy operational steps and manual configurations are packaged into outcome-based templates for legal ops to  drive the workflow from the beginning and across fragmented toolset
  • Efficiencies and scale: 3-6 simple clicks will trigger an entire process, so the team focuses on exceptions and process breaks
  • Smart Team: end-to-end automation reduces the need for specialized knowledge so the team can do more with less, reducing costs from 45% to 80%

Optimum’s unified platform transforms legal operations: The cost, time, and effort shifts  from specialist-led “projects” to simplified, streamlined internal processes, where forensic capabilities and case-based reporting are available to the average user.

Anil Kona, CEO of Vertical Discovery and Intelligent automation expert speaks to a shift that is very much under way:

“The continued adoption of cloud computing has made traditional digital forensics obsolete. Requiring physical possession of equipment isn’t necessary anymore, as remote and cloud-based services are the norm for in-place search, preservation and collections in a forensically sound manner. Along with robotic process automation, the road has been paved for end-to-end intelligent automation for corporations to simplify and manage these programs.”