This article was posted as original content on the ACEDS Blog, and written by Gavin W. Manes.
Change is a constant. Many people may look to avoid it for any number of reasons – frequently rooted in apprehension toward the unknown. However, it can be a significant catalyst driving a positive impact, growth, and improvements in many areas including (but definitely not limited to) productivity, cost, and efficiency. With eDiscovery in mind, workflow and technology are areas with great opportunity for evaluation and consideration, and the following are aspects well worth reviewing.
5 Key Considerations for Changing Your eDiscovery Subscription Provider
1. You’re paying too much for what you’re getting
2. You aren’t receiving the tech support you need
3. Your eDiscovery case load has changed
4. You want more control over the time frames of loading and production
5. You want more features
Always, with the pricing. eDiscovery costs can be difficult to determine, hard to predict, and surprisingly large. Comparing pricing can be overwhelming since it’s rarely apples to apples, more like apples to oranges. If you feel like you’re paying too much, you’re not alone. For many systems that charge per gigabyte, monthly costs can vary greatly. Consider that for one gigabyte put into a system, it can expand to many by being imaged, expanding further, or being included in a production. You may be paying for one document multiple times. Price per gigabyte can sound low, but can add up quickly. Many legal professionals have small to mid-sized cases, but should a large case come along, that’s another time to evaluate whether per-gigabyte pricing is right for your projects.
If you’re new to eDiscovery and doing processing, search, and production yourself, then the learning curve can seem daunting. Video tutorials and guides can help, but sometimes you need a knowledgeable human on the other side of the phone (or email) to assist you through the process.
For seasoned eDiscovery professionals, there is always the possibility of a gnarly data set, a tight deadline, or an exception that refuses to be handled in the usual way. For these times, it’s important to be able to call on an expert that does this exact kind of work all the time. Knowing that you have people behind you to support whatever problem may arise can help you operate with confidence, and that’s a great factor to consider when choosing an eDiscovery solution.
3. Case Load Changes
Litigation is a moving target and depending on your area of practice, case size can vary dramatically. If you’ve been working in small to mid-sized case environments and a larger case comes along, it’s a great time to evaluate whether the pricing on your eDiscovery platform is right for the work you have in front of you. Case size variability is another reason to consider a vendor that does not lock you in to long term contracts. Per gigabyte pricing in contract form can mean that you will be paying large fees over a long period if the case is lengthy, or data continues to be added to the set.
If anything is true about litigation, it’s that time frames can change on a dime. Your ability to control loading data into the system can be the difference between making and missing a court deadline. The same is true for getting data out of the system through productions. Knowing that you can perform these functions at any time, inside or outside business hours, is a key consideration for the eDiscovery solution you choose.
Your eDiscovery tool has to do the things you need to do on a regular basis. All tools should have the functionality to process, search, review, and produce, but there are subtleties to the way you’ve designed your workflow. If your tool isn’t able to perform how you need it to, it’s time to consider a change. Basic feature sets may be similar among most of the tools currently available, but you know how you operate most efficiently – so it’s important to find a tool that matches the way you work.