The eDiscovery industry is ever-evolving to meet the demands of clients and the changing legal landscape. But it’s not always easy for eDiscovery vendors to navigate obstacles in order to meet these demands.
Keep reading to explore three common challenges eDiscovery vendors face from their customers and the top trends that drive those challenges.
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The eDiscovery industry has undergone significant changes in just the last couple years, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and these changes are posing new—and exacerbating old—challenges for eDiscovery vendors and legal service providers (LSPs).
The pandemic has allowed legal teams to explore the new opportunities that accompany the work from home revolution, calling for a mass migration of legal services into the cloud. With some firms and agencies returning to the office, many legal teams are now looking for seamless cloud and on-premise deployment.
Firms and agencies are also much more apt to adopting artificial intelligence (AI)-powered automated tools. Even small cases are utilizing AI to enjoy the cost- and time-saving benefits.
Challenge #1: The Explosion of Data
As we know, the volume of data we produce is growing at an exponential rate—and it’s not likely to slow down any time soon. In fact, an estimated 79 zettabytes of data were produced in 2021 alone and we expect to break that data production record by the end of this year.
From emails to social media posts and all the metadata in between, eDiscovery vendors are having a hard time keeping up with the changing landscape of data exchange. The constant growth of data and the demand to process, review, and produce the various data types are driving forces for vendors to innovate faster and stronger solutions without compromising accuracy.
Additionally, eDiscovery vendors struggle to host large data sizes. While the cost of storage hardware is becoming more affordable, file storage costs—and its associated costs, such as the cost of ongoing maintenance—are skyrocketing. In fact, the average cost of storing just one TB of data is $3,351 per year.
Large data sizes also make vendors prime targets for cyberattacks. In just the last two years, there have been 2,399 data breaches. And the consequences can be dire, from ruining a vendor’s reputation to losing all of their clients’ data.
Challenge #2: Hybrid Solutions
As previously mentioned, the move to remote workflows highlights the need for many organizations to have a flexible eDiscovery solution that offers hybrid deployment. Many clients want an on-premise platform for collection through processing and a cloud platform for review through production—or vice versa.
However, this level of flexibility is difficult for eDiscovery vendors to provide without compromising defensibility. Migrating between the cloud and consoles poses metadata spoliation threats because of the exporting and importing of data, even if the software and the hardware are from the same vendor.
Challenge #3: End-to-End eDiscovery
End-to-end solutions create a smooth flow of data between each stage and need of eDiscovery without exporting and reimporting data to risk spoliation or delays. To do that, legal teams need to reduce data volume, type, and costs during early case assessment (ECA); cull data using deduplication, searching, and bulk decisions; utilize automation to efficiently review large amounts of data; and produce data to share with stakeholders.
Each of the nine stages of eDiscovery have unique challenges that make them susceptible to indefensibility. Once those steps are integrated together into an end-to-end platform, their unique challenges create a domino effect. The ending result can be much worse spoliation, delays, and even court sanctions.