How to Choose the Right Ediscovery Software
[Editor’s Note: EDRM is proud to support our Guardian Plus partner, Zapproved.]
Is your ediscovery software in need of an upgrade? The truth of the matter is, many companies are still using outdated, mishmashed, or even spreadsheets to manage their ediscovery process. These antiquated processes may work for some companies or use cases, but corporate legal teams are facing growing security risks and increased costs.
With the right software, in-house legal teams can initiate legal holds with ease, conduct targeted preservation and collections, process data more efficiently, and review documents with confidence. What are you waiting for?
Understanding Ediscovery Software and How To Choose the One for Your Company
As ediscovery has evolved and become segmented into different processes and stages, different ediscovery vendors have cropped up to help legal professionals manage ediscovery. Ediscovery software allows legal professionals to process, review, tag, and produce electronic documents for any existing or potential.
Choosing the right ediscovery software is often a big investment of both time and money, so it’s best to have a good idea from the start of what your team would like to accomplish. It’s easy to be intrigued by an “all-encompassing” solution that promises state of the art technology, but an over-complicated system that’s hard to learn and hard to use might not be the right fit for your team.
Start by auditing your current ediscovery process. Where is your company spending the most time? How about the most legal spend? What areas are potentially at risk for data security or privacy? (To understand your company’s security policies, connect with your IT and legal departments to make sure all parties are aware of what’s required of them.)
Key areas to cover off on are: identifying all use cases for ediscovery, identifying the goals you have for all stages of the matter lifecycle, mapping out a preservation workflow for each use case, and lastly, finding opportunities to process data and conduct document review in-house to reduce third-party service fees.
Before you move forward with any software, make sure you’re aware of the upfront and ongoing costs. It’s important that this matches up with what you’re expecting as far as a return on investment.
The Benefits of Ediscovery Software
It’s tough to ask for more budget even in the best of times, and it’s only gotten more challenging amid today’s uncertainty. Corporate legal teams are having to do more with less and often feel they can’t possibly bring any more work in-house. But investing in in-house ediscovery is almost always worth it. You save money and time while improving data security, team efficiency, and faster outcomes. When fighting for budget or preparing a cost justification, a return-on-investment (ROI) analysis is invaluable in equipping you with the information and data you need to justify investing in better ediscovery tools.
Putting Your Ediscovery Software to the Test
Once you’ve identified what needs your company has, it’s time to do some homework and make a list of top ediscovery vendors. Try reaching out to peers or searching business software research tools like Capterra and G2 if you need a place to start.
With your short list in hand, it’s time to start testing your options. During this process it’ll pay off in the long run to be as thorough as possible, making sure the software can handle the bulk of the tasks that you’ve outlined in the steps above. And remember, demos can often be deceiving. A shiny tool may look nice when someone is presenting, but how well will it operate when the vendor isn’t in the room?
Usability should be a top priority for any in-house legal team looking for ediscovery software. The value of selecting and implementing a tool that is easy to learn, and easy to use is the key to driving user adoption.
Once you feel the software has been fully tested, take the time to dig a little deeper into the software’s customers. Ask for references to similar industries or use cases. You wouldn’t hire someone without checking their references, the same goes for software.
Finally, conduct a security audit. Your ediscovery software provider will have access to your company’s most sensitive data, it’s critical that they have the tools and systems in place to protect that data. Take the time to read their security information thoroughly, and make sure to confirm that they have a best-in-class SOC 2® Type 2 certification.
Making the Right Decision for Your Team
Before you move forward with any software, make sure you’re aware of the upfront and ongoing costs. It’s important that this matches up with what you’re expecting as far as a return on investment. Streamlining your ediscovery process or replacing a costly older process will both have immense savings. In addition, take a hard look at what you stand to gain by reducing risks, bringing more in-house, and upping your security measures.