eDiscovery Daily Blog

10 Things to Know Before Moving eDiscovery to the Cloud – eDiscovery Best Practices


Software as a Service (SaaS) accounted for 49 percent of all eDiscovery software revenues tracked in 2011, according to Gartner’s report, Market Trends: Automated, Analytical Approaches Drive the Enterprise E-Discovery Software Market.  Joel Jacob’s article in Information Management.com (10 Things to Know Before Moving E-Discovery to the Cloud) provides an interesting checklist for those considering a move to cloud computing.  Here they are, with some comments from me.

1.     Actively involve all stakeholders across multiple departments.  The article promotes involving “as many stakeholders and members of management as possible, typically from legal, IT, compliance, security and any other department that may be impacted by a new model”.  Legal should also include outside counsel when appropriate – they will often be the heaviest users of the application, so it should be easy for them to learn and use.

2.     Document and define areas of potential cost savings.  Jacob advocates considering the eDiscovery process as defined by the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM).  It’s easy to forget some of the cost savings and benefits that cloud computing can offer – not only reduction or elimination of hardware and software costs, but also reduction or elimination of personnel to support in-house systems, as well.

3.     Evaluate the e-discovery platform first and the cloud options second.  Clearly, the eDiscovery platform must meet the needs of the organization and the users or it doesn’t matter where it’s located.  However, it seems counter-productive to spend time evaluating platforms that could be ruled out because of the cloud options.  At the very least, identify any cloud “deal breakers” and eliminate any platforms that don’t fit with the required cloud model.

4.     Benchmark your existing e-discovery processes including data upload, processing, review and export.  This, of course, assumes you have an existing solution that you are considering replacing.  You will compare those benchmarks to those of the potential cloud solution when you perform a small pilot project (as we will discuss in an upcoming step).  The eDiscovery platform that you choose should ideally give you the option to load and export your own data, as well as providing good or better turnaround by the vendor (when compared to your internal staff) for performing those same functions when needed.

5.     Learn the differences between public and private clouds.  As the article notes, “[c]ompanies need to understand where there [sic] data will go, how it is protected, and if it is secured according to any industry specific regulations that apply (e.g., HIPPA, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc.).”  It’s especially important to know where your data will go – if it’s stored internationally, access to it may be subject to different rules.  As for how it is protected, here is some more information regarding how data can be protected in a cloud environment.

Tomorrow, we will cover items 6 through 10 of the checklist.  Oh, the anticipation!

So, what do you think?  Have you implemented a SaaS based solution for eDiscovery?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.