eDiscovery Daily Blog

Smaller Law Firms Save Big with Cloud-Based eDiscovery – eDiscovery Trends

According to a new article in ABA Journal (Cloud-based e-discovery can mean big savings for smaller firms, written by Joe Dysart), if you are a smaller law firm, it may make more sense to “rent” your eDiscovery applications in the “cloud” rather than bring a full-fledged hardware and software solution in-house.

Dysart’s article quotes a couple of panelists from a panel session at the recent LegalTech (LTNY) conference, including panelist Alan Winchester, a partner at the New York City firm Harris Beach, who stated: “For firms without robust IT departments, it grants them the experts to manage the technology operations and security.”

The article also identifies some benefits of using cloud-based eDiscovery solutions, including:

  • No need for software updating: Updates to cloud software tend to evolve over time, with users easily absorbing smaller, steadier changes over a much longer time span.
  • Best practices are continually updated: eDiscovery cloud vendors learn to avoid the pitfalls with software much more quickly, given that they are working with multiple law firms at once. Essentially, the mistakes and misunderstandings that can happen with an eDiscovery software package tend to happen at a much faster rate.
  • No need for yearlong rollouts: With eDiscovery in the cloud, all the hardware and software installation logistics are sidestepped. Instead, firms can focus entirely on training staff and bringing them up to speed.
  • The return on investment can be very attractive: Smaller law firms may go months or even years before needing a robust eDiscovery package. Instead of spending major dollars – and then watching helplessly as the system grows obsolete – they can go to the cloud for eDiscovery on an ad hoc basis and often save handsomely.

As platform manager for CloudNine Discovery’s OnDemand® eDiscovery review application (shameless plug warning!), I can attest to the benefits above with some of our own clients.  When we have software updates to apply, it’s a simple rollout (typically on a Saturday night for up to a couple of hours – our developers have no life!) for all users of the software.  And, assisting various clients has enabled us to learn how the software can be modified to meet their needs (the priorities in our ever-changing development roadmap are largely influenced by our own clients’ requests).

If you’re a small firm shopping to “rent” an eDiscovery application, consider this:

  • Know where your data is stored: It’s your data, so you should be able to know where it’s stored and know that it’s secure.  Is it stored in the US or internationally?  You don’t want to have issues getting to your data when you need it most.
  • Try it before you buy it: The cloud provider should let you conduct a no risk trial with your own data before you have to make a purchasing decision (see the banner below if you want to check out CloudNine’s no-risk trial offer).
  • Training and support should be free: The application should be easy to use, but it still helps to get training as well as application support when questions arise.  However, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

As Dysart’s article concludes, “law firms do need to take a hard look at the technology both ways before taking the plunge”, so it’s always important to consider the pros and cons as it applies to your firm.  Nonetheless, the benefits of cloud-based eDiscovery solutions make it an attractive option for many law firms today, especially small firms with limited budget and resources to manage the ESI in their cases effectively.

So, what do you think? Have you considered cloud-based solutions for your eDiscovery projects? 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.