Electronic Discovery

The Challenges of Modern Discovery – CloudNine Webinar

In the past, attorneys relied on printed pages and forensic imaging to produce and review traditional documents. Neither method is capable of telling the whole story. By treating data as documents, legal teams are unable to draw context from metadata, families, and threads. Static documents also don’t permit the deduplication or isolation of messages at the individual level. These shortcomings lead to slowed review speeds, excessive redactions, and the loss of relevant information.

Since then, the eDiscovery landscape has broadened to encompass modern data types such as text, geolocation, and social media data. When exported by other eDiscovery providers, the data is displayed in unwieldy spreadsheets and JSON files. Lawyers who opt to export modern data face many of the same challenges as they would with traditional discovery measures. As an alternative, a lawyer may try to produce modern ESI in the form of screenshots. Screenshots are mistakenly viewed as an easier production form because they offer clear images of conversations and provide details such as contact names and messaging times. However, several judges have rejected their admission in court due to authenticity concerns. Nowadays, it’s very easy to fabricate text conversations.

As the amount of modern ESI grows, developing an efficient and defensible discovery process becomes paramount. Rob Lekowski and Rick Clark from the CloudNine team joined Kevin Thompson from the Chicago Bar Association to discuss how CloudNine ESI Analyst uniquely tackles the pitfalls of modern discovery. Rob and Rick also provided insight into common questions such as:

  • How should legal teams deal with deleted documents?
  • What are the estimated costs and duration times for small, medium, and big cases?
  • Can you still collect evidence with CloudNine ESI Analyst if you don’t have access to the physical device?
  • How should an attorney negotiate keyword searches with opposing counsel?

To learn how to process and review modern data types in a single platform, watch the webinar here.

Inaugural Symposium on eCrime – Dealing with Multiple Data Sources

Studies show that the average person generates about 100 megabytes of data per minute. While most people leverage technology for work and personal activities, it can also be a tool for criminal offenses. On February 28, 2022, the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science held a virtual symposium on e-crime. The symposium covered topics such as cell phone forensics, email investigations, and deep fakes. CloudNine Senior Director Rick Clark was featured on a panel alongside Amber Schroader, CEO of Paraben Software, and Christa Miller, managing editor at Forensic Focus. The panel addressed how data from multiple sources can aid an investigation or discovery workflow.

Panel Discussion Points:

  • Concerns from stakeholder perspectives (particular focus on HR, legal, and IT teams)
  • Case studies involving modern data in criminal cases
  • Data privacy and ownership
  • The “human” element of the generation and interpretation of data

Managing multiple data sources doesn’t have to be stressful. To address your concerns in anticipation of your next investigation, click here.

Remote eDiscovery: Uncovering eDiscovery Best Practices From Home

When businesses and governments began shutting down due to the COVID-19 virus, it fast-tracked the slow and cautious transition to remote work begun by legal service providers

LSPs had already begun finding success operating in remote environments, using the cloud for eDiscovery data storage, processing, review, and analytics. 

However, it wasn’t until companies were forced to send their employees home to work that traditional legal departments and law firms began adapting to remote work environments. This led to finally upgrading, optimizing, and strengthening their infrastructure to accommodate this new normal. 

While this transition was a nerve-wracking experience for some, statistics tell us that remote work environments are not only possible but preferred:

  • 71% of companies have a new, positive view of remote work environments. (IDG).
  • 59% of remote U.S. workers would prefer to continue working remotely. (Gallup).
  • 69% of remote U.S. workers reported their productivity levels are the same or higher when working from home. (Citrix).

With a more productive eDiscovery solution, your LSP is set up for success. Learn about four other ways your organization can build value and boost margins in our ebook here.

The Benefits of Remote eDiscovery Tools

As foreign a concept remote working seemed to be, the benefits were obvious from the very beginning. Roadblocks were quickly reconciled, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs associated with eDiscovery

This was expedited by the realization that while personnel were becoming increasingly more dispersed, the eDiscovery data they were working with was becoming more centralized due to the cloud. Secured cloud environments allowed for a more efficient and effective workflow to collect, process, host, review and produce critical data. 

Other benefits of remote eDiscovery tools include:

  1. Lower-touch processes so you have fewer discoverable copies and less movement and enhanced control of data
  2. No geographical workforce restrictions so you can bring in the best people no matter where they live
  3. Easy scalability for near-instant provisioning or decommissioning
  4. Cost-effectiveness that allows you to shift from CapEx to OpEx

How Secure is Remote eDiscovery?

For some traditionalists, as well as others that are simply more cautious by nature, there’s a question of data security that has them hesitant to embrace a remote eDiscovery solution. However, there’s nothing to fear with the right eDiscovery solution.

Simply put, eDiscovery cloud computing provides a secured digital environment that protects the integrity of your data. To ensure this, there are certain security protocols your LSP must follow to guarantee your data security. 

  • Personnel should only use company devices or assets when working remotely
  • Data encryption must be used in transit
  • Multi-factor authentication must be deployed
  • Secured connectivity must be ensured for all employees 

With these protocols in place, your data is secure from all but the most devious and skilled cybercriminals. The only thing you’re missing is the perfect partner to provide a solution that makes sense for you and your clients. 

The CloudNine Remote eDiscovery Solution

Offering speed, security, and simplicity, CloudNine Explore empowers LSPs with a remote eDiscovery solution that allows you to investigate issues, assess risks, confirm compliance and begin early case assessment quickly and easily. 

More importantly, with CloudNine Explore, you’ll maintain the highest quality of data processing by leveraging these benefits:

  • Process as many as 1 million records per hour
  • Deploy CloudNine anywhere through a single workstation deployment
  • Easily scale up or down across multiple secured devices with mobile access
  • Effectively manage remote teams with powerful administrative and user controls
  • Remove bottlenecks by reprioritizing projects and reviewers as needed
  • Use deduplicate, filter, and search functions to reduce your data and hosting fees

Discover what CloudNine Explore can do for your remote eDiscovery team here.

Finding Value in CloudNine Explore’s eDiscovery Tool

CloudNine Explore gives you early visibility into the size and scope of your eDiscovery data so you can determine costs upfront. By insourcing your eDiscovery solution, you can cull data before you send it out, resulting in a significant ROI by:

  • Reducing costs associated with data collection, processing, hosting, and review
  • Mitigating risks by identifying problems easier and quicker
  • Opting to deploy on-premise or in the cloud

While most eDiscovery solutions only work with traditional datalike documents, emails, and spreadsheets, CloudNine now has the ability to work with modern data like:

  • Communication (texts, MMS, etc.)
  • Computer Activity
  • Geolocation
  • Financial Transactions
  • Social Media

To learn more about our modern data solutions, read the announcement on our acquisition of ESI Analyst.

By providing you with the ability to work remotely, scale quickly to take on more clients, or pivot for new types of data, CloudNine Explore allows you the flexibility to explore your options as an LSP so you can decide best practices for your organization and your clients. 

To see firsthand how CloudNine Explore can improve your remote eDiscovery solutions, schedule a free demo today.

 

How to Maintain eDiscovery Data Integrity

Emails, text messages, legal documents, written letters, faxes, and more: your eDiscovery team sorts, reviews, and analyzes all of these documents and more during the span of a legal case. When handling these confidential documents, it is important to keep these documents safe and secure. 

As a vital part of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), any data collected is done so with the intent to capture it exactly as intended or as it was actively being used. This ensures the searchability and traceability of your data so it can be properly collected, indexed, and documented for use in litigation.

To simplify this for eDiscovery, data integrity means ensuring the legal data you collect is accurate and consistent throughout its lifecycle. Maintaining eDiscovery data integrity is not only vital for the privacy and protection of your clients, but also for the integrity of your legal investigation.

At CloudNine, we take data integrity very seriously. Read on to learn about our recommended best practices for maintaining data integrity during your eDiscovery process or learn how we put those best practices into play with CloudNine Explore here.

Protecting the Quality of Your eDiscovery Data

Data types are constantly evolving. By 2025, the number of IoT devices deployed globally will surpass 25 billion. 

The variety, velocity, and complexity of electronic evidence multiply with each new generation and innovation of data technology. While email, spreadsheets, and documents are still the primary form of data collected, social media, streaming data, and data products continue to rise in prevalence. 

This rise in data types means your vigilance must increase with the introduction of each new technology or update with the average U.S. civil case collecting 130 GBs of data the average U.S. civil case collecting 130 GBs of data

To protect your clients and your firm, know the factors which can affect your eDiscovery data integrity:

  1. Mistakes due to human error: Your eDiscovery data integrity can become jeopardized any time human involvement is required. Data can be input incorrectly, duplicated, or deleted. Protocols, methods, or procedures can be ignored or designed incorrectly.   
  2. Transfer errors: If your eDiscovery data isn’t transferred properly from one database to another or if one is damaged or compromised, your file could become fragmented or corrupted. 
  3. Viruses or malware: Any outside software that can infiltrate your network has the potential to alter, erase or steal critical data.
  4. Compromised hardware: Any time your network experiences a significant failure like a computer or server crash, your hardware can become compromised. This could cause your eDiscovery data to be corrupted or inaccessible.

To ensure the quality of your eDiscovery data, you need to adopt a proven data collection solution that can operate efficiently, securely, and in a forensically sound manner. This means there’s no question concerning the quality of your data or any copies made. It also needs to be able to:

  • Work with modern data types
  • Work with a variety of data types
  • Pull many different fields of data

When you are able to easily and securely perform eDiscovery data collection, your legal team will be able to take on more cases and increase margins for your LSP. Learn more about this in our eBook: 4 Ways Legal Service Providers Can Build Value and Boost Margins.

Best Practices for Ensuring eDiscovery Data Integrity

To ensure eDiscovery data integrity for your clients, implement the following best practices:

  1. Understand Your eDiscovery Solution: Knowing the capabilities and limitations of your data collection software allows you to use it in the most efficient manner possible.
  2. Validate the Data: Confirm the data you collect is correct before you upload it to your server. 
  3. Implement Access Controls: Only necessary personnel should have access to the data so there’s less chance of data being compromised or corrupted.
  4. Maintain an Audit Trail: Any change to the data can have an impact on your litigation, so you need to know who touched what files when they accessed them, and what they did to them. 
  5. Backup Your Data: Regularly scheduled and reliable data backups are essential in the event of data loss. 
  6. Deploy Cybersecurity Measures: From timely software patches to limiting physical access to computers and servers, all known security vulnerabilities should be monitored and secured to prevent outside interference.
  7. Workforce Training: Every member of your team that has access to the data should be trained to follow data integrity guidelines to ensure the reliability of the data.

How CloudNine Explore Helps You Ensure eDiscovery Data Integrity

Data integrity is the foundational element to your eDiscovery processWith CloudNine Explore, you can ensure you get it right through our innovative approach to eDiscovery data collection:

  • Navigate through data to determine risk, scope, and cost up-front
  • Review new data with automated and in-person processes
  • Securely upload, process, and preserve data critical to your investigation or litigation
  • Step-by-step and advanced user workflows
  • Data, domain, file type, and additional filtering
  • Search term testing and reporting
  • File copies are created when exported
  • Provide information as required for legal production or continued investigation

Make your cases defensible and your firm profitable with eDiscovery solutions from CloudNine. With easy-to-deploy solutions that protect your eDiscovery data integrity, CloudNine is flexible and adaptable to meet any eDiscovery needs you have. Schedule a free demo today. 

How Automation Complements the Human Side of eDiscovery Review

If there’s one constant throughout human history, it’s that change is inevitable. In the legal world, some law firms and legal service providers often keep the status quo hoping they won’t be affected by the changes around them. For the rest, they adapt and integrate new eDiscovery technologies to include features like automation to find successful ways to overcome these changes. 

Adopting new technology is never an easy transition and it does come with concerns. But, we’re still not at a place where the software can litigate your case and accurately assign classifications for each document without human input. The need for human reviewers will always have incredible value to your firm but, automating the common challenges of eDiscovery document review will help your team work faster and more effectively. 

Learn how automation and eDiscovery come together to accelerate your legal document review process here.

Differences in Opinions: eDiscovery Solutions

Legal document reviewers are usually specially trained associates who need to analyze complex information quickly and make decisions based on:

  • Relevance
  • Privilege
  • Responsiveness
  • Confidentiality

Unfortunately, there’s often a difference of opinion within these teams which can lead to inaccuracy and inconsistencies in the classification of documents. In fact, in a study released by Autonomy, Inc., experts from seven professional review teams were asked to review a selected set of 28,000 documents. In the end, the experts unanimously agreed on the classification of only 43% of the documents

This means more than half of your documents could potentially be misclassified making your eDiscovery more challenging. 

Removing the Guesswork in Legal Document Review

Legal document reviewers are often presented with a broad overview of the matter along with a binder of protocols and example documents. This training includes little eDiscovery data and a lot of guesswork as to what is being sought after in the documents.

A few days – or sometimes weeks – after the eDiscovery review has begun, a quality control team reviews the progress to identify discrepancies in classification and specific reviewers with low accuracy.  At this point, the reviewing team is retrained with more specific protocols based on the errors uncovered. 

Having more accurate protocols from the onset of your legal document review supports productivity and avoids wasted time and effort.  

With improved efficiency, your legal team is one step closer to optimizing your eDiscovery review process. Learn how to accelerate your eDiscovery even more in our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery .

Flawed Legal Document Review Protocols

When legal review protocols are established, they’re usually created by subject matter experts, well-versed in the matter. Despite their credentials, the initial review protocols can suffer from two primary flaws:

Flaw 1: Lack of Knowledge: When the expert creates the review protocols, they usually do so before they’ve had a chance to review the documents in context to better account for variations in the review set.

Flaw 2: Lack of Understanding: Once the protocols are written, the reviewers have to fully understand them or efforts to accurately classify documents becomes much more difficult and error-prone. 

Improving eDiscovery Review with Better Protocols and More Accurate Classifications

Errors and inefficiency in document review is often linked to insufficient training.  Review teams will struggle to understand exactly what they’re looking for if protocols are too vague and don’t account for unforeseen variations.  This results in too many discrepancies in your document classification. 

The solution lies in leveraging automation to support human expertise and equip them with sound training of the review protocols and classifications.

Establishing Stronger Protocols for Legal Document Review 

First, select a diverse collection of documents through early sampling so your expert can review an ample variety of documents, concepts and classifications.  As you create the review protocols, allow your review team to interact with these documents for more hands-on experience with the document set. 

Next, ask each reviewer to classify the same small batch of documents so you can provide immediate feedback on their classifications. If they classified a document incorrectly, you now have an opportunity to question their decision-making to determine why they did it and if the protocols were unclear or misleading.

Get More Accurate eDiscovery Classifications

Once training is complete, you can review the results to check the accuracy of each reviewer. This helps you identify individuals on your review team who need additional training. In addition, you can create a threshold accuracy score each reviewer is required to meet before they’re allowed to begin reviewing actual documents from the data set. 

This level of review evaluation helps:

  • Identify poorly performing reviewers
  • Informs your decision-making on review assignments
  • Improves the overall quality of the early stages of the review

All of these lead to more accurate and cost-effective reviews.

Using CloudNine Review Automation to Improve eDiscovery Review

CloudNine Review offers an automated eDiscovery solution that’s fast, affordable, and easy to use. By utilizing the automation in our solution, you’ll be able to improve your training based on your reviewers’ accuracy and speed. This allows you to:

  • Create immediate feedback and critique for your reviewers.
  • Establish a more thorough understanding of classification protocols.
  • Improve review efficiency making it faster and more accurate.

Plus, you’ll be able to improve your initial review protocols by tracking which were misunderstood by your reviewers so you can determine why they were misunderstood and what you can do to make them more understandable. 

It’s time for you to check out CloudNine and see what it can do to improve your document review. Request a free demo and let us show you how CloudNine Review uses automation to improve the human element of your eDiscovery review.

eDiscovery in a Pandemic: How to Adapt to Turbulent Times

There’s no question COVID-19 continues to have a huge impact on the way we live and work. With the new Delta variant surging among the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, the number of infections is rising once again. Unprecedented challenges are impacting law firms and legal document reviewers as well. 

From March 2020 to January 2021, New York City held only nine criminal jury trials.

For the first time in history, court trials dropped 99%  from the previous year in the country’s largest criminal jurisdictions. This is not an isolated occurrence as courts closed or severely reduced their caseloads to help stop the spread of the virus. This meant cases that should have closed were left open indefinitely, forcing law firms to keep their eDiscovery accounts open for longer than expected. 

Making matters worse, law firm clients found themselves unable to pay their invoices as the unemployment rate topped 14.8% in April 2020. While the economy has begun to recover, the unemployment rate still remained high at 5.8% in May 2021. This loss in client income had a predictable downstream effect on legal cases

Another consequence brought about by the lockdowns was the disruption of electronic discovery data collection. Law firms and their clients began shipping hard drives all over the country. New strategies had to be developed around data collection as document review service providers had to order hard drives, copy relevant ESI onto the hard drives, and then deliver them to the client. 

All of these challenges had a direct impact on revenue and forced expense cuts by collections, attending conferences, and certainly inviting clients to onsite meetings.

Ultimately, law firms will have to adopt new solutions or rethink old ones in order to thrive in this new, post-COVID world. The best way to do this? Adopt an agile, remote review process as part of your eDiscovery solution; learn how CloudNine Explore can help you adapt to the everchanging times here.

Be Prepared to Move Your eDiscovery Operations Remote 

When federal, state, and local governments began shutting down courthouses, law firms followed suit and sent their people home to work remotely. While every firm was different, size played a big part in how easy or difficult the transition was. 

For smaller firms, it didn’t take much – just a few tweaks to their infrastructure to allow remote access. Larger firms faced a bigger challenge as they had a lot more pieces to move to give everyone remote access to the shared drives and files they needed to do their jobs. 

In order to prepare for another shutdown or even a natural disaster preventing you from opening your office, CloudNine can help you convert from your standard in-office eDiscovery environment to a remote eDiscovery environment working easily and quickly. 

For firms already accustomed to interacting with the on-prem eDiscovery environment, they’ll automatically have full remote access to CloudNine Explore. They just need to have their network turned on and accessible. 

Some legal teams may not have the on-prem infrastructure in place to support that many users in one project at once, especially those teams that are large and spread. 

For these situations, we offer CloudNine Explore via our cloud so you can allow more users to access your data using our infrastructure at no additional infrastructure cost to them. With internet connectivity, you can access your CloudNine projects from any device, anywhere in the world. 

Add More Value to Your eDiscovery Retainer

Retainers are a good way to ensure clients are capable of meeting their financial obligations to your law firm. While most retainers are based on a specific dollar amount, some are established to run month-to-month or even year-to-year. These multi-year agreements help you establish a consistent revenue stream. To capture the best retainers, you need to have a reputation for being hard-working, committed, fair, and, most important, effective. 

Effective eDiscovery solutions bring value to your services beyond what other law firms have to offer. Highly efficient and secure, CloudNine Explore can eliminate duplicate or irrelevant files so you can focus on the documents that matter. With filtering tools that allow you to reduce the cost of processing by reducing the file size, you offer better value by providing more services for the price of your client’s retainer.

Improve Your ROI Through Your eDiscovery Solution

To help improve your services and increase value to your clients, you’ll want to understand how to maximize efficiency in your eDiscovery. CloudNine models out the cost of the solution versus the return you’ll get on your investment in the form of:

  • Data security
  • Cost reductions
  • Control over your data
  • Processing speed 

Plus, CloudNine partners with you to better understand your goals in order to offer a realistic solution so you know if you commit to X, Y, and Z today, you’re more likely to experience a higher return on your investment tomorrow. 

CloudNine also helps you level the playing field between larger law firms with astronomical budgets and smaller, more cost-conscience firms. By leveraging the solutions offered, you can access the same level of technology and services as larger law firms without investing in the infrastructure to host it. 

Learn how CloudNine Explore can help your firm be prepared for turbulent times, giving you added value to offer your clients, the ability to work remotely more effectively, and the confidence you need to invest in new solutions to get better ROI. Schedule a free demo with CloudNine today.

How COVID-19 Has Reinforced the Need for Comprehensive BYOD Policies

Even before the pandemic started, working from home was on the rise. The trend allowed employees to be both productive and comfortable. Like any change, the transition to remote work was met with some skepticism. Many worried that limited in-person interaction would negatively impact work relations and company culture. Another concern was that employees wouldn’t get their work done at home. Though the research is mixed, several studies suggest that working from home greatly improves productivity. Amid the controversy, remote work skyrocketed as quarantine guidelines were set in the United States. This shift boosted the popularity of BYOD policies in the workplace. BYOD is shorthand for “bring your own device,” a practice in which businesses allow employees to conduct work activities on personal devices.

From both the employer and employee perspectives, BYOD policies come with a list of pros and cons. Employees typically enjoy the change, grateful that they don’t have to carry two phones everywhere. BYOD allows them to conveniently handle business and personal affairs from the same device. Through this system, an employee can work from anywhere at any time. From the employer’s standpoint, BYOD practices can be a money saver. Companies that supply and maintain work phones are expected to foot the bill. BYOD, however, eliminates those business expenditures.[1] In terms of ediscovery, BYOD poses significant privacy and security concerns. Now more than ever, companies should reevaluate their BYOD policies, ensuring that sensitive data is well-protected.

Questions to Consider

Before drafting or revising BYOD policies, there are several questions that a company should ask itself. Below is a list of sample questions to get the ball rolling:

BYOD Recommendations

  • Ask new employees about the BYOD policies at their former jobs. If the employee previously used their personal device for business matters, their device could still contain competitor data. Detecting and eliminating competitor data early on reduces the risk of lawsuits. [2]
  • Pay particular attention to securing data from your legal department. Legal departments, specifically, are a popular target for hackers because they manage large amounts of sensitive information.
  • Consider setting time limits on employee access to highly sensitive material.
  • Consider an employee’s position in the company before allowing them to operate through a personal device. If their position requires consistent interaction with confidential information, it’s safer to supply them with a work phone. [3]
  • Outline any software and applications that employees should not use.
  • Establish protocols for litigation holds and employee departure. [1]
References

[1] Russell Beets, “BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policies and Best Practices,” LitSmart E-Discovery, November 17, 2017.
[2] Will Kelly, “BYOD and the danger of litigation” TechRepublic, November 3, 2015.
[3] Frank Ready, “When Should Companies Refresh BYOD Policies? With COVID-19, It’s Now” Legaltech News, July 16, 2020.

The Hybrid eDiscovery Solution: The Best Of Both Worlds

When deciding on the most efficient processes to run eDiscovery in your organization, the options are nearly limitless with hundreds of products and service providers vying for your attention.

Not all document review solutions are the same. Before you commit to your eDiscovery solution, you need to determine whether you would like to perform eDiscovery in-house, outsource it or do a bit of both.

Regardless of which path you take, CloudNine can provide you with a solution that is perfectly right-sized for you, learn more about CloudNine’s review solutions here.

What is eDiscovery Insourcing?

Insourcing is the delegation of a task or operation to a specialized unit within your organization rather than a third party. For legal service providers and large law firms, this includes both the technology used to perform legal data collection and people assigned to collect and review electronic discovery documents.

Insourcing is the traditional method for eDiscovery. Ten years ago, cloud solutions weren’t widely used for eDiscovery due to cost and the fact that most professionals were not aware or comfortable with it yet. Larger law firms invested heavily in developing an in-house infrastructure and software to process and review electronic documents.

Today, the organizations with the infrastructure already in place continue to insource their eDiscovery because it allows them to control both the cost and the data. Typically, these organizations are large law firms.

Benefits of insourcing your eDiscovery:

  • No data hosting or processing fees
  • Complete control over data collection
  • Protection from cybersecurity attacks on external parties

100% control means 100% responsibility. With this responsibility comes the cost of maintaining your eDiscovery environment which includes hiring IT professionals and updating the infrastructure regularly.

If your organization chooses to insource your eDiscovery process, you will need to hire a software company to develop your new software or hosting platform. Of course, you can avoid this if you already have a software engineer on the payroll.

In addition, your new eDiscovery software will need a robust infrastructure to support it. This requires a large investment of capital. If you already have the infrastructure in place, you may have to expand it before you are ready if your organization scales quicker than you’re prepared for.

Lastly, an insourced eDiscovery solution requires trained professionals to make it operational. Not only will you need a team of dedicated attorneys to review the documents, but you’ll need IT staff to maintain the network, software, and hosting platform.

Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of corporate legal insourcing? Check out our blog, Insourcing vs. Outsourcing Your eDiscovery Review Process.

What is eDiscovery Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the transfer of day-to-day operations of a business function or task to an external service provider. For eDiscovery, this means an outside organization is responsible for providing the technology and personnel to collect and review electronic discovery documents.

Because of the high expense associated with maintaining an in-house infrastructure, many legal organizations contract legal service providers or legal technology companies to host and process their eDiscovery documents.

This also means you do not need to keep IT staff or review attorneys on payroll full-time. Instead, your expenses are tied to a few laptops and a reliable connection to the internet.

With less investment in infrastructure, accounting becomes much easier because you’re not looking to make money back on an expensive investment. Your books and budget are simplified, only paying predictable monthly hosting and processing fees.

Other benefits to outsourcing include:

  • Up-to-date software patches to protect you from cybersecurity threats
  • Hosting and processing fees are based strictly on volume
  • Data can be culled to reduce the number of documents processed

Outsourcing means you have to frequently communicate with your legal service provider. The more you outsource, the more management you need to ensure communication is being relayed correctly and different pathways mean the odds of miscommunication increases.

Data transfer time could pose a problem if one party is suffering from a connection issue or if a hard drive has to be physically shipped to the service provider for processing.

Also, you’re dependent on the service provider’s availability. If they have a system outage or are the victim of a natural disaster, you’ll potentially lose access to your data.

A Hybrid eDiscovery Solution

For some organizations, one solution- insourcing or outsourcing- may not be suitable. Different challenges require different solutions and those that find themselves in this position can always consider adopting a hybrid eDiscovery solution.

A hybrid eDiscovery solution finds the best balance between your internal and external resources to perform specific business functions or tasks like eDiscovery collection, processing, and review.

For example, you could use insourcing to cull the data before advancing it to your outsourced processing. Or you could reserve your insourced platform to handle smaller data collections while sending larger data loads to your external service provider.

Tasks to consider for your hybrid approach include:

To determine which solution is best suited to perform each task, you need to consider these challenges for each:

  • ROI – How much will the solution cost and is it cost-effective?
  • Time – How quickly will the solution allow you to perform your eDiscovery tasks?
  • Complexity – How complex is your eDiscovery process and what risks are involved with the solution?

By recognizing your specific needs and comparing them to the benefits and drawbacks of each solution, you can determine which solution – insource, outsource, hybrid – works best for your organization.

Regardless of your decision, CloudNine can help guide you to discovering the right eDiscovery solution for you. We offer an all-in-one processing and hosting solution that you can use on-prem or through our cloud-based eDiscovery platform, giving you the option for insourcing, outsource, or hybrid.

To learn more, request a free demo and see how CloudNine can make your eDiscovery solutions more efficient and affordable.

eDiscovery Cost Recovery: A Case-By-Case Assessment

Cost recovery is a critical consideration to the eDiscovery services you provide. Without it, you won’t have an accurate view of your financial status. While today’s turbulent times may put your LSP under more pressure to budget your money more wisely, the truth is you’re always under pressure to make your bottom line and recover eDiscovery costs as quickly as possible. 

As an LSP, you report to clients who need to know they will receive a good ROI when they hire you. On the flip side, when you hire vendors, buy equipment, or lease software, you need to see that quick ROI as well. 

One way to accomplish this is to adopt eDiscovery software solutions that add real value to your business. To do so, you need an eDiscovery solution providing high quality service so you can collect fees from your clients before the solution costs you more than you can charge.

Consider the cost difference a few decades make:  In 1981, the price of a 1GB hard drive was $500K. Today, it’s less than $0.03. 

For eDiscovery data processing, the cost to process 1GB was $2000 just 15 years ago. We process the same data for less than $100. 

By adopting a solution like CloudNine Explore, you can keep your expenses down to offer more value through a cost-effective solution to your clients. This means they’re able to pay you quicker and more dependably so your cost recovery is easy to manage.

The On-Prem vs. Cloud Storage Dilemma 

 While there are many benefits to cloud storage, the cost isn’t as black and white as it once was. Traditionally, if you rented a server versus purchasing one, your initial investment was cheaper. 

Renting a server may be a smart investment if you have no plans to utilize the server long-term. However, as you continue to rent that server, the costs are going to add up, costing you more than if you just purchased the server.  

Renting data storage space from a provider today can be just as expensive as purchasing a new server because providers typically do everything to ensure the server is up-to-date and backed up. While this does make cloud servers a little more robust, you’ll be paying for that service which makes it more expensive from day one. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to securely upload and store relevant data in a single on-prem server. This allows you to have more access and control over your data while lowering your data storage costs. 

Providing Value with eDiscovery System Speed and Accessibility

Speed means everything in eDiscovery. The faster you import the data, the quicker you can move from processing to storage and review. One of the keys to shorter processing time is the use of automation – the greater the automation, the higher the output. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to use automation and leverage multithreading technology so you can use all available processors within the machine to get the most efficiency out of it. 

That’s incredibly useful as oftentimes LSPs utilize unused surplus equipment they have in their inventory to run eDiscovery processing. CloudNine Explore is a great solution in this scenario because it’s flexible and compatible enough to be used on older technology. This reduces the need to buy new equipment. 

Infrastructure Costs and Document Review Services

Infrastructure requirements vary from software to software. Many of the available eDiscovery solutions on the market are complicated and rigid.  And, providers didn’t build their platform with eDiscovery in mind. They built it for other purposes but eventually, they reassigned it to handle eDiscovery. This leaves them with too many restrictive and complicated requirements on their infrastructure. 

The infrastructure supporting CloudNine Explore wasn’t forced to be something it wasn’t. It allows CloudNine Explore to run on anything from simple laptops to state-of-the-art servers. It runs best on a server with some serious horsepower, but it’s still friendly enough to give you the ability to process and cull with less infrastructure investment – whether that’s in the cloud or on your server.  

An eDiscovery software that provides you with the infrastructure flexibility, gets your LSP one step closer to recovering costs quickly.  Learn how to boost margins even more in our eBook here.

Reducing eDiscovery File Size

Many of our competitors offer filtering technology allowing you to reduce your data file size. The only problem is how they’re able to filter your data. Most often, you have to send them the data first, only to cull it down later. Regardless of the smaller file size, you still have to pay to process the entire data file upfront. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to filter and organize the data upfront, culling unnecessary files so you can process only the data you want. This gives you the flexibility and power to control the processing and upfront storage costs. 

Some common filter types include:

  • File type – This lets you focus on specific file types like .doc, .csv, .pdf, .mov or .m4a.
  • Domain – This allows you to search emails to find the ones sent by a specific domain source.
  • Language – This filters documents containing specific languages. Explore currently supports 144 languages including Unicode characters like Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Cyrillic. 

Breaking Down eDiscovery Software Costs

CloudNine Explore has lower software costs for the simple reason that we developed them with a lower price point in mind. Also, we offer loyalty discounts to our clients when they renew their license agreements. We also discount prices when you bundle Explore with other CloudNine solutions like Review.  

While CloudNine is less expensive than a lot of our competition, in the end, it’s all about how you use the solutions. The more efficiently you use the tool, the more value you get out of it and that’s what matters most. 

To see how Explore can help your LSP recover costs quicker and more effectively, schedule a free demo with CloudNine today.

Insourcing Vs. Outsourcing Your eDiscovery Review Process

While eDiscovery may seem a tedious process, it’s critically important to your courtroom success!  A ruling may be made solely on the content found in one corporate executive’s email.   The requisite rests in the confidence of a trusted system to collect and review relevant documents so both sides can build their case. 

However, when it comes to processing the data collection, many organizations differ on the best method for eDiscovery

Whether you decide to insource or outsource your eDiscovery, CloudNine Review is made can assist you in closing cases quickly. 

Discovering The Differences Between Insourcing and Outsourcing eDiscovery

Insourcing is defined as the delegation of operations or tasks within an organization to an internal unit. This refers to both the technology and the people performing the tasks. 

Outsourcing is when you transfer the day-to-day responsibility of those tasks outside your organization to an external service provider. This external service provider provides both the technology and the personnel required to perform the tasks. 

Depending on your organization’s core competencies and business model, insourcing may not be the best choice to handle your eDiscovery tasks. For example, law firms do not focus on providing technology solutions to their clients, so it may be difficult to justify the financial commitment of building an entire infrastructure and hiring a technology team.

However, many organizations may still prefer to insource their eDiscovery. Ten years ago, cloud services were still in their infancy so insourcing was the only real option. While small and mid-sized organizations struggled, larger firms invested in the infrastructure needed to win their cases.

Today, those with the infrastructure still in place choose to contain insourcing because it’s already paid off, which means no additional hosting or processing fees. But for new organizations just getting on their feet, investing in eDiscovery infrastructure may be a costly risk.  Maintaining infrastructure is costly for organizations with internal eDiscovery resources as well.  A cloud-based solution reduces the cost burden for new and established organizations seeking eDiscovery solutions.

How Insourcing and Outsourcing eDiscovery Affects Your ROI

For firms that insource their eDiscovery review, there’s a huge investment of money and time into making an eDiscovery environment a viable solution, such as:

  • Infrastructure Development
  • System Maintenance
  • IT Support Staff
  • Review Attorneys

When you outsource your eDiscovery process, you only pay on a per-project basis.

When you insource your eDiscovery process, you are paying to keep your infrastructure running and up-to-date on the latest technologies, which will require maintenance and labor. With ransomware hackers running rampant, labor shortages from COVID-19, and necessary system upgrades to keep your network from crashing, costs can become erratic and drastically change from month to month. 

Outsourcing makes it easier for your law firm to control costs since you are only concerned with paying for what you need when the cases come along.

The success of your eDiscovery review process lies in your ability to recover costs quickly, learn how to optimize your cost recovery in our eBook, which you can download here.

Are the Benefits of Insourcing Worth the Cost?

When it comes down to it, there’s really only one primary benefit to insourcing your eDiscovery review. It gives you complete and total control over your data processing. You do not have to worry about where your data is being stored or if you can access it on your schedule. It’s on-prem and ready whenever you need it. 

Let’s consider insourcing from a financial standpoint. If you want to develop your own insourced eDiscovery solution, this is what you’re looking at: 

  • The profit margins for hosting and processing fees have eroded significantly in the past 10 years. It used to cost $500 to process a single gigabyte of data. Today, it’s only around $30.
  • You will probably have to develop a custom piece of software or build a new hosting platform, which means you will need to hire at least one developer if you don’t have one on the payroll already. And according to Glassdoor, the average salary for a software developer is around $108,000 a year. This doesn’t include the additional burdens on IT to keep the system up-to-date and secure.
  • Of course, you could hire a software development company to develop new software or hosting platform but that won’t be cheap, either. It’ll be somewhere in the range of $50K and $250K
  • And don’t forget about the legal team you’ll need to assemble to do the actual eDiscovery review. 

Overall, you’re looking at a hefty investment. There may not  be enough financial incentive to justify spending the money to develop your own internal infrastructure. 

An Outsourced eDiscovery Solution That Makes Financial Sense

CloudNine Review offers outsourcing eDiscovery solutions that are fast, easy to use, and, most important, cost-efficient. Simply upload your documents and begin the review process in minutes, earning yourself an impressive ROI with these benefits:

  • Unlimited Users: Unlike other eDiscovery providers, we don’t charge you for every single user you add to the database. It’s a flat fee, allowing you the freedom to add as many users as you need.
  • Flexible Infrastructure: Our network is designed to handle hard-working organizations like yours. Our infrastructure can support a thousand attorneys reviewing the same data collection simultaneously. If you wanted to do that in-house, you’d be investing a lot of time and money to spin up the additional infrastructure to handle it. 
  • No Long-Term Contracts: Just pay for your eDiscovery services at a month-to-month rate. No hidden agendas or commitments. 

There’s also no difference in the quality or legality of documents collected and reviewed, as the processes are the same. The only difference is who did the work – an in-house group or a trusted provider like CloudNine. 

If you’re ready to hand over your internal eDiscovery tasks to a dedicated company that specializes in streamlining your discovery, investigation, and audit processes, reach out to CloudNine and request a free demo today.