Corporate legal teams are experiencing increasing pressure to streamline legal spend and recoup revenue lost to legal expenses. At the end of 2014, LexisNexis published a survey stating that 54% of corporate legal departments were bringing more work in-house, and that “operation efficiency” was a top priority. The ediscovery landscape has advanced significantly in the last few years, and as more technology becomes readily available and more widely understood, bringing ediscovery in-house seems like a simple choice to cut costs and improve efficiency. With the right planning and implementation, a legal team with their own ediscovery platform can have greater control of their case matter and provide a better overall service to the business, but bringing something so complex in-house involves careful consideration and preparation. Taking that decision lightly could end in significant loss of dollars and resources.
In this five-part series, we’re digging into the total cost of ownership for an e-discovery platform. Beyond the price of software, there are critical sunk costs to consider in the process of moving ediscovery in-house, and in the next three posts, we’ll break the cost of ownership down into these three parts:
- Acquisition: Before purchasing your ediscovery software license, there is usually a lengthy decision-making process to find software that meets your organization’s legal and IT needs. That process takes months of valuable time away from department work.
- Implementation: In addition to installing and training staff on the new software, your legal staff will need to be trained on ediscovery best practices. The IT department will also need to make sure that both staff and infrastructure are up to date on the latest security and encryption practices so your company isn’t at risk of a data leak.
- Maintenance: All technology has an expiration date, so you’ll need to budget for patches and upgrades, license renewals, and hardware replacements. You’ll also want to consider additional costs for customizations and applications.
For our final post of the series, we’ll dig into the different ways service providers structure their offerings, and we’ll provide best practices for choosing one that best fits your company’s strategic priorities. Rates, tools, and offerings differ, but we’re speaking to service providers and corporate legal departments to learn more about what’s important to each enterprise and what they’re doing to facilitate collaboration. Finding a service provider who acts as a business partner can offer significant savings while providing the same efficiency as managing your own ediscovery process.
Having a complete understanding of the accompanying costs for your new platform is going to prove crucial in ensuring that your department is making the right move. Next we’ll examine one area that makes up the cost of owning an ediscovery platform – aquisition – and why you might be biting off more than you can chew.