For law firms, reducing and controlling eDiscovery costs is a perennial rallying cry. It’s no wonder the U.S.’s annual budget for discovery is upwards of $40 billion, most of which is wrapped up in ESI.
Legal teams are constantly challenged to balance comprehensive and effective discovery with tight budgetary and time constraints. And there has historically been a constant stream of articles about how to do just that.
But eDiscovery is experiencing a sea change and the old recommendations on reducing or controlling eDiscovery costs are no longer as relevant. Linear, complex, expensive or black-box processes are falling by the wayside and it’s time for some new recommendations on how to navigate the costs associated with the new kinds of eDiscovery processes.
There are 3 new ways you can not only reduce and control eDiscovery costs but even recover more of your spend. With the right approach, you could even turn a budgetary burden into a revenue stream.
How to Reduce eDiscovery Costs
- #1 Consider cloud-based storage to reduce eDiscovery costs
- #2 Go with a SaaS-model technology approach to control eDiscovery costs
- #3 Recover eDiscovery costs with simplified pricing
#1 Reduce eDiscovery Costs with the Cloud
While not necessarily new, cloud-based solutions are still not fully embraced by many firms. But on-premise servers, equipment licenses, hardware and custom configured platforms have always been a serious barrier to adding or expanding eDiscovery services.
On-premise solutions might make sense for large organizations that require complete control and the utmost security, but for most law firms, it is overkill. Not to mention all the expert staff required to manage an in-house system.
The rise of cloud-based eDiscovery software options was driven by a desperate need for eDiscovery technology that would be accessible to all. Cloud-based storage is not only easier and less expensive to maintain but infinitely scalable, so firms only pay for resources that are actively being used. And despite the persistent myth, the cloud is safer than many on-premise deployments.
#2 Control eDiscovery Costs with Technology
Three law professionals recently outlined how different ways of using eDiscovery technology can result in very different budgetary outcomes. They did a side-by-side analysis of what a real discovery request would look like using two different workflows. Their goal? “…to illustrate the vast difference technology and process can have on the cost of production.”
What they found was negotiating a one price, all in model and promoting all data into the review environment saved them more than $100,000 and allowed them to complete discovery in less time than with the traditional workflow approach and pricing model.
Workflow matters. And so does price.
Tired of paying user fees and penalties or buying extra licenses when you need more processing and review than your contract allows? Ditch the burst fees and make your business better >>
#3 Recover eDiscovery Costs with the Right Pricing
For decades, eDiscovery software has come with complicated pricing schemes and complex contracts that are difficult to decipher — even with a law degree. The downstream effect is that firms are left guessing what their eDiscovery costs are going to look like making cost recovery nearly impossible.
Firms are now choosing a smarter kind of eDiscovery with simplified pricing that makes cost recovery a reality.
For example, one law firm, in particular, does plaintiff work on contingency. They essentially eat the cost of eDiscovery themselves without any guarantee they’ll be getting anything back, so their very cost conscious–and rightly so.
They were looking into an eDiscovery SaaS solution with a simplified, all-in pricing model that would cost them $5k per terabyte and realized if they contracted with their two defense clients at a reasonable $20 per gigabyte they could actually pay for the entire cost of the SaaS solution, make $3k profit and still have 600 gigabytes of space that could be used for other matters.
The takeaway? You can turn eDiscovery from a budgetary burden into a revenue stream if you’re willing to think about eDiscovery differently–and if you’re willing to work with a smarter technology solution.