Finding the right eDiscovery solution can leave a lot of organizations wondering how to even begin the search. What kind of options should be considered, and which are the most important for ensuring a mutually beneficial business relationship? Here are three questions legal professionals need to ask before committing to a vendor.
1. What approach does the vendor take?
Effective ediscovery has to not only fit within a set operating budget, but also needs to address any industry-specific guidelines and considerations. When faced with litigation, it’s absolutely essential that businesses can prove chain of custody to ensure the highest level of defensibility, while also ensuring data integrity.
The best eDiscovery solutions take an end-to-end approach toward every phase of EDRM (electronic data and records management), ensuring that discovery efforts are maximized while the process itself remains reasonably streamlined and manageable (that includes the costs as well). Data collection is more than just searching databases; true ediscovery is an evolving strategy, not a static answer.
2. What level of support and access is offered?
Some vendors may specify that data can only be accessed during certain hours or by a particular methodology, which can make things complicated depending on an organization’s specific needs. Support hours and metrics are another factor that need to be considered. Is the vendor available when litigation teams are working overtime or on weekends? Is support available only through a particular contact person?
The big picture also needs to be considered. Are the services that are offered comprehensive or only partial? Ideally, organizations will most benefit from eDiscovery solutions that handle everything “from soup to nuts,” as the saying goes. This includes not only data collection and management but also review services, analytics and access to more robust services like computer forensics and expert testimony if needed.
3. How flexible and adaptable is the vendor?
EDiscovery is a highly complex process that involves many hands, a wide range of processes and strategies and at a volume level that can be staggering. Any eDiscovery solution has to be flexible and adaptable enough to handle small things like multiple file formats or a large number of OCR conversions, but also major, essential concerns like robust search capabilities, ensuring repeatable and defensible processes, and of course maintaining utmost data security and integrity at every step of the way.
Additionally, the best eDiscovery vendors will be able to seamlessly adjust to be just as effective for large cases as small ones and vice versa. No enterprise is going to see the same level of litigation every time, and changing vendors for each case is obviously impractical.
Finding the Right Solution
Although finding the right eDiscovery solution can be a challenge, asking these three questions offers a good starting point for professional dialogue about the unique needs that each organization faces, and the ways in which potential candidates can strive to meet or exceed those needs.